The purpose of this study is to to assess the safety and tolerability of pirfenidone 2403 mg/day for the treatment of RA-associated interstitial lung disease.



Eligible Ages
Between 18 Years and 85 Years
Eligible Genders
Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion Criteria

Diagnosis of Interstitial Lung Disease:

1. Age 18 through 85 years, inclusive, at screening

2. Diagnosis of RA according to revised 2010 ACR/EULAR criteria

3. Diagnosis of ILD

1. Supported by clinically indicated HRCT, and when available surgical lung biopsy (SLB).

2. Presence of reticular abnormality affecting more than 10% of the lung parenchyma, with or without traction bronchiectasis or honeycombing, on HRCT

4. No features supporting an alternative diagnosis on transbronchial biopsy, bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), or SLB, if performed

5. Attainment of the following centralized spirometry criteria (based on local spirometry on standardized equipment and centralized quality controlled):

1. % predicted FVC ≥ 40% at Screening

2. Change in pre- and post-bronchodilator FVC (measured in liters) between Screening (Visit 1) and Visit 2 must be a <10% relative difference, calculated as shown below:

Screen FVC (L) - Day 1 FVC (L) × 100% Screen FVC (L)

3. %predicted DLCO ≥ 30% at Screening

Informed Consent and Protocol Adherence:

6. Able to understand and sign a written informed consent form

7. Pregnancy or lactation. For women of childbearing potential: agreement to remain abstinent (refrain from heterosexual intercourse) or use two adequate methods of contraception, including at least one method with a failure rate of <1% per year, during the 52 week treatment period and for at least 118 days after the last dose of study drug.

8. For men who are not surgically sterile: agreement to remain abstinent (refrain from heterosexual intercourse) or use contraceptive measures, and agreement to refrain from donating sperm.

Exclusion Criteria

Disease-Related Exclusions:

1. Not a suitable candidate for enrollment or unlikely to comply with the requirements of this study, in the opinion of the investigator

2. Cigarette smoking within 3 months of Screening or unwilling to avoid tobacco products throughout the study

3. History of clinically significant environmental exposure known to cause pulmonary fibrosis (PF), including but not limited to drugs (such as amiodarone), asbestos, beryllium, radiation, and domestic birds

4. Concurrent presence of the following conditions:

1. other interstitial lung disease, related to but not limited to radiation, drug toxicity, sarcoidosis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia,

2. Medical history including Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV),

3. Medical history of viral hepatitis (positive Hep A antibody in the absence of elevated liver enzymes is not an exclusion)

5. Concurrent presence of other pleuropulmonary manifestations of RA, including but not limited to rheumatoid nodular disease of the lung, pleuritis/pleural thickening, and obliterative bronchiolitis

6. Post-bronchodilator FEV1/FVC < 0.7

7. Presence of pleural effusion occupying more than 20% of the hemithorax

8. Clinical diagnosis of a second connective tissue disease or overlap syndrome (including but not limited to scleroderma, sjogren's,polymyositis/dermatomyositis, systemic lupus erythematosus, but excluding Raynaud's phenomena)

9. Coexistent clinically significant COPD/emphysema or asthma in the opinion of the site principle investigator

Medical Exclusions:

10. Clinical evidence of active infection, including but not limited to bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, urinary tract infection, or cellulitis. The infection should be resolved per PI assessment prior to enrollment. Any use of antibiotics must be completed 4 2weeks prior to the screening visit. Note that prophylactic antibiotics are not contraindicated or exclusionary.

11. Any history of malignancy diagnosed within 5 years of screening, other than basal cell carcinoma of the skin, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, or low grade cervical carcinoma in situ.

12. History of LFT abnormalities as outlined below, or imaging, laboratory or other clinical information suggesting liver dysfunction, advanced liver disease or cirrhosis. Evidence of hepatic impairment that in the opinion of the investigator could interfere with drug metabolism or increase the risk of the known hepatotoxicity of study drug.

Any of the following liver function abnormalities:

1. Total bilirubin above the upper limit of normal (ULN), excluding patients with Gilbert's syndrome;

2. Aspartate or alanine aminotransferase (AST/SGOT or AST/SGPT) > 3 X ULN;

3. Alkaline phosphatase > 2.5 X ULN.

13. History of end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis

14. History of unstable or deteriorating cardiac disease, or unstable cardiac arrhythmia or arrhythmia requiring modification of drug therapy, myocardial infarction within the previous year, heart failure requiring hospitalization.

15. Any condition that, in the opinion of the investigator, might be significantly exacerbated by the known side effects associated with the administration of pirfenidone

16. History of alcohol or substance abuse in the past 2 years, at the time of screening

17. Family or personal history of long QT syndrome.

Laboratory Exclusions:

18. Any of the following test criteria above specified limits:

1. Estimated glomerular filtration rate < 57

2. Electrocardiogram (ECG) with a QTc interval >500 msec at Screening

Medication Exclusions:

19. Prior use of pirfenidone or known hypersensitivity to any of the components of study treatment

20. Use of any of the following therapies within 28 days before Screening and during participation in the study:

1. Investigational therapy, defined as any drug that has not been approved for marketing for any indication in the country of the participating site

2. Potent inhibitors of CYP1A2 (e.g. fluvoxamine, enoxacin)

3. Sildenafil (daily use). Note: intermittent use for erectile dysfunction is allowed

21. Introduction and/or modification of dose of corticosteroids or any cytotoxic, immunosuppressive, or cytokine modulating or receptor antagonist agent for the management of pulmonary manifestations of RA, within 3 months of screening, is an exclusion criterion, for enrollment, with the exception of dose modification of systemic corticosteroids that are maintained at or below 20 mg prednisone daily or the equivalent.

22. Any use of an approved anti-fibrotic medication.

However, introduction and/or modification of dose of corticosteroids or any cytotoxic, immunosuppressive, or cytokine modulating or receptor antagonist agent for the management of extrapulmonary manifestations of RA is not an exclusion criterion for enrollment.

Study Design

Phase 2
Study Type
Intervention Model
Parallel Assignment
Primary Purpose
Triple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator)

Arm Groups

ArmDescriptionAssigned Intervention
Pirfenidone 2403 mg/d for 52 weeks
  • Drug: Pirfenidone
    Pirfenidone three times daily (2403 mg) for 52 weeks
    Other names:
    • Esbriet
Placebo Comparator
Placebo for 52 weeks
  • Drug: Placebo
    Placebo three times daily for 52 weeks

Recruiting Locations

Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Nashville, Tennessee 37232
Lisa H. Lancaster, M.D.

More Details

Ivan O. Rosas

Study Contact

Ivan Rosas, M.D.

Detailed Description

This is a phase 2, randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trial of pirfenidone for the treatment of RA associated interstitial lung disease. Approximately 270 subjects will be randomized to receive Pirfenidone 2403 mg per day or placebo in a 1:1 ratio. The primary outcome of this study is to assess the efficacy of pirfenidone 2403 mg/day versus placebo in patients with RA associated interstitial lung disease, as defined by progression free survival over the 52 weeks of treatment. Patients will receive blinded study treatment from the time of randomization until the Week 52 Visit.

Eligible patients aged 18 to 85 years must meet 2010 ACR/EULAR criteria for RA (Aletaha, Neogi et al. 2010) as well as RA-associated ILD, as determined by imaging and, when available, lung biopsy. Patients will be required to have a % predicted FVC ≥40 and % predicted DLCO ≥30 at screening.

The dose of study treatment will be titrated over 14 days. Patients will receive a telephone assessment at Weeks 1 and 2, and visit the clinic at Weeks 4, 8, 13, 19, 26, 39, and 52. Subjects will have a follow up phone call 28 days after completion of the study drug. Patients should complete a compliance diary between visits. If patients discontinue study treatment for any reason before the end of the study, they should continue with all scheduled study procedures through Week 52. If subjects are unable to complete the study visits as scheduled, all efforts should be made to complete an early termination visit.

The primary outcome variable of this study will be progression free survival, defined as progression free from decline in FVC of 10% or greater during the 52 week study period.

More information can be found at www.ralung.org.


Study information shown on this site is derived from ClinicalTrials.gov (a public registry operated by the National Institutes of Health). The listing of studies provided is not certain to be all studies for which you might be eligible. Furthermore, study eligibility requirements can be difficult to understand and may change over time, so it is wise to speak with your medical care provider and individual research study teams when making decisions related to participation.