PRS-220, a connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) inhibitor being developed by Pieris Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), has superior target binding properties compared to the humanized monoclonal antibody pamrevlumab, according to study results presented at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress 2021.

The study also showed that PRS-220 was able to bind to CTGF expressed on primary activated lung fibroblasts and achieved superior exposure in lung tissues. 

Moreover, an analog of PRS-220 targeting a similar epitope on the CTGF of a mouse model was functional in lung fibrosis. Its pharmacokinetics and lung biodistribution in mice support once-daily inhaled dosing of the treatment, and its drug-like properties make it suitable for delivery to the lungs via nebulization, researchers wrote.

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There is a need for new and effective IPF treatments to increase survival and reduce side effects, which often lead to withdrawal of the current standard of care. Researchers at Pieris developed PRS-220 to overcome the limitations of current IPF therapies using their proprietary Anticalin® technology.

“PRS-220 exemplifies our respiratory strategy of advancing programs addressing clinically validated targets where a local approach may provide significant benefit to patients,” Shane Olwill, PhD, chief development officer of Pieris, said in a press release.

The company is planning to start phase 1 clinical trials in the coming year to assess PRS-220 for the treatment of IPF as well as postacute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection pulmonary fibrosis (PASC-PF), also known as post-COVID-19 syndrome pulmonary fibrosis.

The study was presented as a poster titled, “Development of PRS-220, a potential best-in-class, inhaled CTGF/CCN2 inhibitor for the treatment of IPF,” at the ERS congress, which took place from September 5 to 8, 2021.


Neiens V, Pavlidou M, Matschiner G, et al. Development of PRS-220, a potential best-in-class, inhaled CTGF/CCN2 inhibitor for the treatment of IPF. Poster presented at: European Respiratory Society International Congress 2021; September 5, 2021.

Pieris Pharmaceuticals announces PRS-220 presentation at ERS highlighting preclinical data for CTGF inhibitor. News release. Pieris Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; August 24, 2021.