EMPIRE-CF: A phase II randomized placebo-controlled trial of once-daily, oral acebilustat in adult patients with cystic fibrosis – Study design and patient demographics

Academic Article


  • Inflammation causes irreparable damage in the cystic fibrosis (CF) lung. Despite high standards of care and the advent of new therapies, inflammation continues to cause significant loss of lung function and morbidity. Acebilustat is a once-daily, oral molecule with anti-inflammatory activity through the inhibition of LTA4 hydrolase and modulation of LTB4. It has potential to reduce lung function decline and pulmonary exacerbations in patients with CF and is currently being tested in a Phase II multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study (EMPIRE-CF). Strict inclusion criteria based on modeling of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Patient Registry data were selected to enrich the trial with patients most likely to benefit from chronic anti-inflammatory therapy that reduces lung function decline. 200 patients between 18 and 30 years of age, with an FEV 1 percent predicted (pp) ≥50%, and ≥1 exacerbation in the past year have been enrolled. Patients are randomized 1:1:1 to placebo, acebilustat 50 mg or 100 mg for 48 weeks, taken concomitantly with their current standard of care, and stratified based on concomitant CFTR modulator use, baseline FEV 1 pp (50% to 75% and >75%), and number of exacerbations in the past year (1 or >1). The primary endpoints are absolute change from baseline in FEV 1 pp and safety outcomes. Secondary endpoints include rate of pulmonary exacerbations and time to first pulmonary exacerbation. Biomarkers of inflammation will also be assessed. EMPIRE-CF is expected to identify the optimal patient population, dose, duration and endpoints for future acebilustat trials, and widen understanding of the drug's efficacy in patients with CF.
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    Author List

  • Elborn JS; Ahuja S; Springman E; Mershon J; Grosswald R; Rowe SM
  • Start Page

  • 86
  • End Page

  • 94
  • Volume

  • 72