- Astrazeneca said its potential new treatment for lung disease had been granted orphan drug designation by the US Food and Drug Administration.

The company's 'potential' new medicine for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a type of lung disease that results in scarring (fibrosis) of the lungs, was an inhibitor of src kinase, which regulated broad cell functions including cell growth and cell differentiation, the company said.

The company's drug, Saracatinib, to treat idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis had completed phase I development.

IPF, usually fatal interstitial lung disease, affected approximately 100,000 people in the US.

'Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis has a significant impact on patients' lives and new therapies are urgently needed. IPF is a recent addition to our respiratory research strategy and we are interested to see whether saracatinib could be a useful approach for the treatment of this intractable disease,' said Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, R&D BioPharmaceuticals.

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