Antifibrotics in COVID-19 Lung Disease: Let Us Stay Focused

Sachin Chaudhary, Bhupinder Natt, Christian Bime, Kenneth S. Knox, Marilyn K. Glassberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


After decades of research, two therapies for chronic fibrotic lung disease are now approved by the FDA, with dozens more anti-fibrotic therapies in the pipeline. A great deal of enthusiasm has been generated for the use of these drugs, which are by no means curative but clearly have a favorable impact on lung function decline over time. Amidst a flurry of newly developed and repurposed drugs to treat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and its accompanying acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), few have emerged as effective. Historically, survivors of severe viral pneumonia and related acute lung injury with ARDS often have near full recovery of lung function. While the pathological findings of the lungs of patients with COVID-19 can be diverse, current reports have shown significant lung fibrosis predominantly in autopsy studies. There is growing enthusiasm to study anti-fibrotic therapy for inevitable lung fibrosis, and clinical trials are underway using currently FDA-approved anti-fibrotic therapies. Given the relatively favorable outcomes of survivors of virus-mediated ARDS and the low prevalence of clinically meaningful lung fibrosis in survivors, this perspective examines if there is a rationale for testing these repurposed antifibrotic agents in COVID-19-associated lung disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number539
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
StatePublished - Sep 9 2020


  • ARDS
  • COVID - 19
  • MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome)
  • SARS
  • SARS - CoV-2
  • antifibrotics
  • fibrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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