Relative to InterMune's two previous studies of pirfenidone in IPF (CAPACITY), the entry criteria for ASCEND were refined to enrich the study population for patients who are more likely to experience decline in lung function and disease progression during the study. This included modest changes to the eligibility criteria for FVC, DLco, FEV1/FVC ratio, and time since diagnosis. These changes increase the likelihood of demonstrating significant findings on multiple endpoints in ASCEND.About Esbriet® (pirfenidone) Esbriet is an orally active drug that inhibits the synthesis of TGF-beta, a chemical mediator that controls many cell functions including proliferation and differentiation, and plays a key role in fibrosis, or scarring, of the lung. It also inhibits the synthesis of TNF-alpha, a cytokine that is known to have an active role in inflammation. Pirfenidone is the first and only medicine approved anywhere in the world for the treatment of IPF. Pirfenidone is approved in 29 European countries under the InterMune trade name Esbriet and in Japan and South Korea where it is marketed by Shionogi & Co. Ltd under the trade name Pirespa®. Under different trade names, pirfenidone is also approved for the treatment of IPF in China, India, and Argentina. About IPF Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive, debilitating and ultimately fatal disease characterized predominantly by fibrosis (scarring) in the lungs, hindering the ability for gas exchange in the lungs. IPF is a progressive disease, meaning that over time, lung scarring and symptoms increase in severity. The median survival time from diagnosis is two to five years, with a five-year survival rate of approximately 20-40 percent, which makes IPF more rapidly lethal than many malignancies, including breast, ovarian and colorectal cancers. Patients diagnosed with IPF are primarily between the ages of 40 and 80, with a median age of 63 years. The disease tends to affect slightly more men than women.