Insmed Incorporated, a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the needs of patients with rare diseases today announced the launch of NTM Facts, an educational campaign designed to raise awareness of nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease, a rare and often chronic infection that can lead to progressive inflammation and lung damage. There are currently no products indicated for the treatment of NTM lung disease in North America or Europe. The company’s campaign includes an interactive website, NTMfacts.com, designed to inform healthcare professionals about the signs, symptoms, and importance of proper diagnosis of NTM lung disease, as well as guideline-based options that may help physicians manage the condition. The launch of the company’s disease awareness campaign coincides with NTM Week, an American Thoracic Society (ATS) initiative to recognize rare lung disorders and foster interaction between patients and clinicians.
NTM lung infections are often difficult to diagnose or misdiagnosed because symptoms, such as chronic coughing, shortness of breath, and fatigue, may be similar to other lung conditions. On NTMfacts.com, healthcare providers can gain first-hand knowledge from the personal stories of patients who are living with the daily challenges of chronic NTM lung disease. NTMfacts.com also provides healthcare providers with a downloadable pocket guide for diagnosing, treating, and preventing NTM lung disease, which is based on the official statement of ATS and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) published in 2007.
“Insmed is dedicated to raising awareness of NTM and we appreciate the importance of connecting physicians with the experiences of patients who are living with the devastating effects of this disease,” said Will Lewis, president and chief executive officer of Insmed. “We look forward to fostering increased awareness and education as part of our ongoing commitment to patients and physicians who are faced with numerous clinical challenges associated with diagnosing and managing NTM lung disease.”
“It is inspiring to see Insmed’s commitment to raising physicians’ awareness about the extensive physical and emotional impact of NTM lung disease,” said Philip Leitman, co-founder and president of NTM Info and Research, Inc., a non-profit organization formed on behalf of patients with pulmonary NTM disease. “Raising NTM awareness will help more patients receive a timely, proper diagnosis and assist physicians in assessing if treatment should be initiated to manage symptoms and disease progression.”
About Nontuberculous Mycobacteria Lung Disease
Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) lung disease is a rare and often chronic condition that is capable of causing irreversible lung damage and can be fatal when untreated. The symptoms of NTM lung disease are variable; however, virtually all patients have chronic or recurring cough. Other symptoms include sputum production, shortness of breath, and chest pain. As NTM lung disease advances, systemic side effects, such as fatigue, malaise, and weight loss may become increasingly prevalent. NTM lung disease is caused by organisms commonly found in water and soil and it can be difficult to diagnose as its symptoms are similar to other co-existing lung diseases, like bronchiectasis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, and pneumoconiosis.
There are currently no products indicated for the treatment of NTM lung disease in North America or Europe. Current approaches usually involve prolonged treatment with multi-drug regimens that are poorly tolerated with limited effectiveness, especially in patients with severe disease or in those patients with disease that is refractory to treatment.
According to a company-sponsored patient chart study, approximately 50,000 patients suffering from NTM lung disease visited physician offices in the United States during 2011. A publication from the National Institutes of Health based on United States Medicare data from 1997-2007 determined that the annual prevalence of patients infected with PNTM in the United States increased 8.2% per year from 20 cases/100,000 to 47 cases/100,000 in people over 65. A 2015 publication from co-authors from several US government departments stated that prior year statistics led to a projected 181,037 national annual cases in
2014 costing the US healthcare system approximately $1.7 billion.
Insmed Incorporated is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the needs of patients battling serious rare diseases of high unmet medical need. The company’s current therapeutic areas of focus include nontuberculous mycobacteria, or NTM, lung disease and pulmonary arterial hypertension, or PAH. To complement its internal research and development, Insmed actively seeks in-licensing opportunities for a broad range of rare diseases. For more information, visit www.insmed.com.