SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Nov. 28, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT) (NASDAQ:GBT), today announced enrollment of the first patient in ZEPHYR, a Phase 2a clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of GBT440 for the treatment of hypoxemia in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) who are on supplemental oxygen at rest. Hypoxemia (abnormally low levels of oxygen in the blood) is a common finding in IPF, is the underlying cause for patients' symptoms of breathlessness and fatigue, and contributes to adverse patient outcomes. GBT440 has been shown to increase oxygen saturation in animal models of pulmonary fibrosis and severe hypoxia. Based on these findings, GBT is now conducting two clinical trials of GBT440 as a potential treatment for hypoxemia in a broad range of patients with IPF. "Although supplemental oxygen is an important treatment for IPF patients with hypoxemia, it's also a burden due to the mobility restrictions posed by oxygen delivery devices and as a result adherence to therapy may be limited. Allowing patients to be oxygen-independent or reducing their need for oxygen would be very beneficial for this patient population," said Ted W. Love, M.D., president and chief executive officer of GBT. "This Phase 2a study will provide further important evidence to validate GBT440's unique hypoxemia-targeting mechanism of action. We believe that GBT440 has the potential to be a promising therapeutic option for IPF patients. Together, with the data from our other ongoing Phase 2a study (GBT440-006), in IPF patients who do not use oxygen at rest but become hypoxemic with exercise, we intend to utilize findings from ZEPHYR to further inform our strategy in this indication." About the Phase 2a ZEPHYR TrialZEPHYR is an open label study evaluating the safety and efficacy of GBT440 in patients with IPF who are receiving supplemental oxygen at rest. A total of 16 IPF patients, 45 to 80 years of age, will be enrolled and will receive 900 mg of oral treatment daily. The primary endpoint for the study will be to evaluate the effect of GBT440 on oxygen saturation at rest over a 90-day period. Key secondary endpoints include evaluating the effect of GBT440 on the requirement for supplemental oxygen, IPF-related symptoms and quality of life using patient reported outcomes as well as the six-minute walk distance (6MWD). The study will also assess safety, tolerability and the pharmacokinetic profile of GBT440 in IPF patients.