Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation Launches Industry Consortium To Identify Biomarkers In Pulmonary Fibrosis

For Immediate Release                                           Contact: Dorothy Coyle,                                                                                                                          773-332-6201

(CHICAGO) March 4, 2020 – The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (PFF) today announced a new collaboration that could speed up the development of targeted treatments for individuals with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a devastating and progressive lung disease.

The national patient advocacy organization and Celgene Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, have created a consortium called PROLIFIC (Prognostic Lung Fibrosis Consortium) to develop well-qualified assays to detect important peripheral blood protein biomarkers in patients with pulmonary fibrosis. The assays will be used to uncover early indicators of a drug’s activity.

PROLIFIC industry members include Biogen, Genentech, Inc., Lung Therapeutics, Inc., OptiKira LLC, Pliant Therapeutics, Inc. and Respivant Sciences GmbH. The group has selected 12 biomarkers based on published scientific reports describing their prognostic utility for the disease itself and their potential predictive utility for how well a drug works.  In addition, the biomarkers may be useful for comparing the biological activity of different therapeutic interventions across trials.

These 12 biomarkers include markers of epithelial damage (CYFRA 21-1, SP-D, CA-19-9, KL-6), fibrosis (MMP-7, Tenascin C, periostin), inflammation (CCL18, CXCL13, slCAM1), and thrombosis (PAI-1). The multiplex biomarker assay is being developed by Myriad RBM.

PROLIFIC intends to partner with health authorities world-wide to achieve the long-term goal of finding biomarkers that can predict which IPF patients would benefit most from a particular treatment rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, enabling physicians to better tailor therapeutic treatments for patients. 

“The PROLIFIC collaboration is an example of the innovative and intensive research underway by the PFF and industry partners to identify additional therapies for pulmonary fibrosis,” said Dr. Gregory P. Cosgrove, chief medical officer of the PFF.

Researchers will screen samples from the PFF Patient Registry and Biorepository, a resource of more than 2,000 patients with pulmonary fibrosis, to identify and validate blood protein biomarkers. In addition to the blood samples, investigators will utilize baseline data related to symptoms; demographics and social traits; and data showing variation over time to characterize proteins affected by the disease.

“Biomarker research plays a fundamental role in our precision medicine approach to treating some of the most challenging diseases. Through the PROLIFIC consortium, we are collaborating with industry leaders to advance the application of prognostic blood biomarkers to clinical trials in IPF and other interstitial lung diseases to help put translational discoveries into clinical practice,” said Dr. Saurabh Saha, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president of Translational Medicine at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Additional organizations, including pharmaceutical and biotech companies, patient advocacy and non-profit organizations, and academic institutions, will be invited to apply for membership to the PROLIFIC consortium.




About the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation mobilizes people and resources to provide access to high quality care and leads research for a cure so people with pulmonary fibrosis will live longer, healthier lives. The PFF collaborates with physicians, organizations, patients, and caregivers worldwide. The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation has a three-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Better Business Bureau accredited charity. For more information, visit or call 844TalkPFF (844.825.5733) or 312.587.9272 outside of the U.S.