Boehringer Ingelheim announced today that the first person has been enrolled in the SENSCIS™ (Safety and Efficacy ofNintedanib in Systemic SClerosIS) study. The global Phase III trial, which is now open for recruitment, is investigating the efficacy and safety of nintedanib in people with a rare disease called systemic sclerosis (SSc) who also developed interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD) (NCT02597933). In total, 520 people are expected to be enrolled in clinical trial centers worldwide.
Systemic sclerosis, also known as scleroderma, is a rare disease characterized by the thickening and scarring of connective tissue of multiple organs in the body. The scarring can also affect the lungs and when this occurs the condition is called SSc-ILD. The presence of ILD with systemic sclerosis often indicates a poor prognosis and higher risk of death.
“People affected by systemic sclerosis with interstitial lung disease are often young, between 25 and 55 years old, and are faced with considerable disability related to the systemic nature of scleroderma. They often have significant shortness of breath and cough from lung disease and severe pain and contractures as a consequence of their skin involvement. This occurs during years when they are deeply engaged in building careers and caring for family,” said Kristin Highland, M.D. of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. “There are no approved treatments, and few drugs have been assessed in clinical trials for this disease. The SENSCIS™ trial will help to further inform the medical community about this disease and whether nintedanib could be an effective therapy.”
It is estimated that systemic sclerosis with interstitial lung disease affects up to 86,000 people in the U.S. and 200,000 people in Europe, making it an orphan, or rare disease. Worldwide, it is estimated that approximately two million people have systemic sclerosis, and up to 90 percent may develop some degree of interstitial lung disease.
“The community has been waiting for treatment options for people with systemic sclerosis who have developed interstitial lung disease,” said Robert Riggs, CEO,Scleroderma Foundation. “The initiation of Phase III research such as the SENSCISTM trial is an important step forward for people living with the disease and their families.”
“To help people living with scleroderma, research is key,” said Scleroderma Research Foundation Chairman, Dr. Luke Evnin. “The SENSCIS™ trial represents meaningful progress that may address a significant unmet need by providing the community with a potential new treatment option for this devastating disease.”
“Nintedanib, which is marketed as OFEV®, is approved for a rare lung disease called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, or IPF, and has been shown to slow disease progression as measured by annual rate of decline in lung function. Because SSc-ILD and IPF share similarities in how the underlying lung scarring, or fibrosis, forms in people with the disease, we are evaluating the impact of nintedanib on lung fibrosis associated with systemic sclerosis,” said Danny McBryan, M.D., vice president, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Respiratory, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “The SENSCIS™ study is another milestone in our ongoing commitment to furthering science that addresses the unmet needs of people affected by rare diseases and serious respiratory conditions, including fibrotic lung diseases.”