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December 28, 2004

The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Enrolling Patients in Clinical Trial for Treating
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

(Philadelphia, PA) – The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP) is seeking participants in an international, Phase 3 clinical trial, called the INSPIRE Trial. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled research study will evaluate the therapeutic potential of interferon gamma-1b – a manufactured version of a naturally occurring human protein that stimulates the immune system – in the treatment of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). IPF is a debilitating and potentially deadly lung disease affecting more than 80,000 people in the United States. HUP is one of 75 leading medical centers in North America and Europe participating in the INSPIRE Trial.

IPF is a disease characterized by progressive scarring (fibrosis) of the lungs. Symptoms include a progressively worsening shortness of breath (dyspnea), which makes it difficult to perform routine tasks, such as walking. Ultimately the loss of lung function leads to death. The cause of IPF is unknown, and currently there is no FDA-approved treatment for this fatal disease.

Investigators hope to enroll 12 participants in the Delaware Valley and a total of 600 patients around the world will be enrolled. Adults with IPF may be eligible to participate in the INSPIRE Trial if they are between the ages of 40 and 79, have been diagnosed within the past 36 months, and meet trial eligibility requirements. Those enrolled will receive either the investigational study drug or placebo by subcutaneous injection three times a week for a minimum of two years. For more information on the trial and eligibility, contact the study’s research coordinator, Susan Metzger, MSN, RN, at 215.662.3115 or via e-mail at susan.metzger@uphs.upenn.edu. You can also visit the trial’s web site at www.inspiretrial.com for more information.

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PENN Medicine is a $2.7 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and high-quality patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System (created in 1993 as the nation’s first integrated academic health system).

Penn’s School of Medicine is ranked #3 in the nation for receipt of NIH research funds; and ranked #4 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent ranking of top research-oriented medical schools. Supporting 1,400 fulltime faculty and 700 students, the School of Medicine is recognized worldwide for its superior education and training of the next generation of physician-scientists and leaders of academic medicine.

Penn Health System is comprised of: its flagship hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, consistently rated one of the nation’s “Honor Roll” hospitals by U.S. News & World Report; Pennsylvania Hospital, the nation's first hospital; Presbyterian Medical Center; a faculty practice plan; a primary-care provider network; two multispecialty satellite facilities; and home health care and hospice.

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