Researchers at the University of Michigan say they have discovered the enzyme responsible for pulmonary fibrosis, a lethal disease that typically leaves patients only three years to live. And they have advanced a new therapy in animal studies that might offer hope for humans.
"We've identified the target. We know the enemy now," said Subramaniam Pennathur, assistant professor of internal medicine/nephrology. "This is the first study that shows pulmonary fibrosis is driven by this NOX4 enzyme. But what's really significant is this discovery may have relevance to fibrosis in other organ systems, not just the lung."
Pulmonary fibrosis, which afflicts some five million people around the world, is characterized by scarring of the lung tissue. The university says that it is patenting the IP and is in the process of looking for a partner to develop the therapy.
- check out the report from Xinhua