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New $22M Study to Use Sequencing, Proteomics to Investigate Pulmonary Fibrosis

NEW YORK — The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) announced today the start of a study, supported by $22 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health and philanthropic organization Three Lakes Partners, using genomics and other technologies to diagnose and treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

The study — called Prospective Treatment Efficacy in IPF Using Genotype for Nac Selection, or PRECISIONS — is being led by Cornell University's Fernando Martinez and the University of Virginia's Imre Noth, who will use samples from the PFF's patient registry and biorepository to help determine whether N-acetyl-cysteine is effective in IPF patients with a particular genetic mutation that is found in about 25 percent of people with the lung disease. 

The scientists will also use a combination of RNA sequencing and proteomics to identify molecular signatures that can distinguish IPF patients from those with non-IPF interstitial lung disease (ILD), as well as use whole-genome sequencing to identify IPF risk variants.

"PRECISIONS has the potential to really change the scientific landscape over how we view IPF and ILDs by providing molecular classifications while determining if a pharmacogenetically driven treatment can change outcomes," Noth said in a statement.