Dr John Hood Highlights Advantages of IPF Hedgehog Inhibitor ENV-101

John Hood, PhD, cofounder and CEO of Endeavor BioMedicines, explains the potential advantages of ENV-101 during a time with very few treatments for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

While at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 2024 International Conference, The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®) sat down with John Hood, PhD, cofounder and CEO of Endeavor BioMedicines. In this interview, Hood explains how ENV-101 offers potential advantages over existing therapies for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), which are limited. ENV-101 is a novel hedgehog inhibitor that has demonstrated improved lung function and reduced fibrosis in patients with IPF.


What are the potential advantages of ENV-101 over existing therapies for IPF?

There's currently 2 approved drugs for IPF, pirfenidone and nintedanib, both which only incrementally slow the progression of the disease. And they have tolerability issues as well. They have GI [gastrointestinal] toxicity and they're not very efficacious. In contrast, ENV-101 data today [presented at the ATS 2024 International Conference] indicate we're actually improving patients with lung function, how they feel, as well as reversing pathology in the lung based on HRCT [high-resolution CT]. I guess the biggest thing we do that's different is it works, it makes patients better, and current therapies just don't do that. Also, it happens to be more tolerable.

What are some unmet needs and current gaps of knowledge in IPF, and how can health care systems address these issues?

The biggest unmet medical need is we just don't have a therapy that makes patients better. Ultimately, that's what we're trying to do at Endeavor. We have a drug that, at least to date, is showing evidence that patients get better. As far as what the health care system can do, they're somewhat limited because they simply don't have the tools in the toolbox yet. The current therapies are ineffectual and intolerable, so most patients don't even stay on drug. Roughly only 20% of patients are on current standard of care, and there's a high discontinuation rate. We're trying to make it much, much easier for the health care system by giving them something that works.

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