New Drug Ofev Gaining Momentum in Fight Against Mesothelioma

Research & Clinical Trials
Reading Time: 3 mins
Publication Date: 12/08/2014
Fact Checked
Our fact-checking process begins with a thorough review of all sources to ensure they are high quality. Then we cross-check the facts with original medical or scientific reports published by those sources, or we validate the facts with reputable news organizations, medical and scientific experts and other health experts. Each page includes all sources for full transparency.
Reviewed is the nation’s most trusted mesothelioma resource

The Mesothelioma Center at has provided patients and their loved ones the most updated and reliable information on mesothelioma and asbestos exposure since 2006.

Our team of Patient Advocates includes a medical doctor, a registered nurse, health services administrators, veterans, VA-accredited Claims Agents, an oncology patient navigator and hospice care expert. Their combined expertise means we help any mesothelioma patient or loved one through every step of their cancer journey.

More than 30 contributors, including mesothelioma doctors, survivors, health care professionals and other experts, have peer-reviewed our website and written unique research-driven articles to ensure you get the highest-quality medical and health information.

About The Mesothelioma Center at

  • Assisting mesothelioma patients and their loved ones since 2006.
  • Helps more than 50% of mesothelioma patients diagnosed annually in the U.S.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed mesothelioma and support organization.
Learn More About Us


"My family has only the highest compliment for the assistance and support that we received from The Mesothelioma Center. This is a staff of compassionate and knowledgeable individuals who respect what your family is experiencing and who go the extra mile to make an unfortunate diagnosis less stressful. Information and assistance were provided by The Mesothelioma Center at no cost to our family."
Mesothelioma patient’s daughter
  • Google Review Rating
  • BBB Review Rating

How to Cite’s Article


Povtak, T. (2020, October 16). New Drug Ofev Gaining Momentum in Fight Against Mesothelioma. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from


Povtak, Tim. "New Drug Ofev Gaining Momentum in Fight Against Mesothelioma.", 16 Oct 2020,


Povtak, Tim. "New Drug Ofev Gaining Momentum in Fight Against Mesothelioma." Last modified October 16, 2020.

Mesothelioma patients battling shortness of breath, a symptom that makes everyday activities increasingly difficult, may soon find relief with nintedanib, a new anti-cancer drug shown to relieve respiratory distress.

Nintedanib recently received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a lung scarring condition with similarities to asbestosis.

German-based drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim markets the drug under the brand name Ofev. The European Commission also granted the marketing of the drug as Vargatef for use with docetaxel to combat lung cancer.

Researchers now are conducting multicenter, mesothelioma clinical trials using nintedanib in San Francisco, Cleveland, Columbus, and Pittsburgh, along with cities in several countries outside the U.S.

It is a phase II study designed to measure the efficacy and safety of the drug in combination with a chemotherapy regimen of pemetrexed and cisplatin. It is a double-blind, randomized study where a percentage of patients receive only the chemotherapy regimen.

The clinical trial began in 2013 and is expected to end by May 2016.

Nintedanib Expands Treatment for Multiple Cancers

Previously, the FDA granted Ofev orphan product and fast track designations to speed its approval process, which was not originally expected until 2015.

Nintedanib is a protein inhibitor with the ability to block the multiple pathways that lead to scaring of lung tissue, a problem with IPF, asbestosis and mesothelioma.

During three separate clinical trials involving 1,231 patients with IPF, nintedanib improved the volume of air the majority of patients could exhale after taking a deep breath.

FDA Office of Evaluation Deputy Director Mary Parks, M.D., said Ofev approval “expands the available treatment options for patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a serious, chronic problem.”

Unexplained shortness of breath and prolonged dry coughing are early symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. They signal early problems with the lining around the lungs and scaring of the lungs.

Drug Is Expanding Survival in Some Lung Cancer Patients

In addition to the mesothelioma trial, researches are investigating nintedanib’s effects on other solid tumors. There are ongoing phase III trials involving advanced, non-small cell lung cancer, colorectal cancer and ovarian cancer. There are phase II trials involving mesothelioma, liver and kidney cancer.

Nintedanib, when combined with docetaxel, another cancer-fighting medication that targets genetic DNA, demonstrated extended survival time for advanced lung cancer patients in a trial involving more than 1,300 participants. It led to fast track approval by the European Union.

“The clinical data has shown that patients receiving nintedanib, plus docetaxel, experienced over one-year survival with no compromise to their quality of life,” said Martin Reck, Ph.D., head of thoracic oncology at Lung Clinic Grosshansdorf and lead trial investigator. “This adds a much-needed treatment option for lung cancer patients.”

The use of nintedanib for lung cancer is designed as second-line treatment after first-line chemotherapy, filling a significant void in the typical therapy regimen.

Connect with a Mesothelioma Doctor
Find a Top Specialist Near You