Background: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive interstitial lung disease with no current effective therapies. Treatment has focused on antifibrotic agents to stop proliferation of fibroblasts and collagen deposition in the lung. We present the first clinical trial data on the use of losartan, an antifibrotic agent, to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. The primary objective was to evaluate the effect of losartan on progression of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis measured by the change in percentage of predicted forced vital capacity (%FVC) after 12 months. Secondary outcomes included the change in forced expiratory volume at 1 second, diffusing capacity of carbon monoxide, 6-minute walk test distance, and baseline/transition dyspnea index.
Methods: Patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and a baseline %FVC of ≥50 % were treated with losartan 50 mg by mouth daily for 12 months. Pulmonary function testing, 6-minute walk, and breathlessness indices were measured every 3 months.
Results: Twenty participants with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis were enrolled and 17 patients were evaluable for response. Twelve patients had a stable or improved %FVC at study month 12. Similar findings were observed in secondary end-point measures, including 58, 71, and 65 % of patients with stable or improved forced expiratory volume at 1 second, diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide, and 6-minute walk test distance, respectively. No treatment-related adverse events that resulted in early study discontinuation were reported.
Conclusion: Losartan stabilized lung function in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis over 12 months. Losartan is a promising agent for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and has a low toxicity profile.