About Hypoxemic Pulmonary Disorders
Chronic hypoxemic pulmonary disorders, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), represent a significant unmet medical need. These are conditions in which the lungs cannot supply adequate oxygen to the blood and the resulting hypoxia is believed to play a key role in disease pathogenesis and adverse patient outcomes.
IPF is a disease characterized by progressive scarring of the lungs, leading to the deterioration of that organ. The disease occurs primarily in individuals between 40 and 70 years of age, and the median survival time following diagnosis with IPF is two to three years.
ARDS occurs when fluid builds up in the alveoli, or air sacs, within the lungs. This is most commonly the result of diffuse alveolar injury, pulmonary edema and profound hypoxemia caused by sepsis, aspiration, trauma or massive transfusion. Nearly all ARDS patients require endotracheal intubation, mechanical ventilation and high fraction of inspired oxygen, or FiO2, to maintain adequate oxygenation. While much of the mortality associated with ARDS is caused by the underlying disease, complications related to the current standard of care are a major cause of morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs. These complications include ventilator-associated pneumonia or tissue damage as a result of unequalized air pressure between the ventilator and the surrounding environment in the case of mechanical ventilation, or exposure to toxic oxygen concentrations (FiO2 > 50%). This highlights the need for a therapy that reduces the duration and intensity of mechanical ventilation and the exposure to toxic levels of oxygen concentration in ARDS patients.