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imPACT – December 2022

Message from the Chair


Welcome to the closing issue of imPACT for 2022. This year has seen significant pulmonary fibrosis clinical trials activity in Australasia with many more new trials to come in 2023. Take aThis image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Dan-600-x-400-600x400.jpg look at the current pulmonary fibrosis trials in our region, here.

It has also been a year of significant achievement for pulmonary fibrosis research in general in Australia. Our world-leading team of Australian pulmonary fibrosis researchers have been awarded a second Centre of Research Excellence (CRE) grant by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. Combined with the generous support of an Australian philanthropic family, this will transform pulmonary fibrosis research in Australia over the next five years and ensure longevity of the supporting infrastructure, including PACT.

There are many exciting things on the horizon for PACT in 2023 and beyond, including an increasing focus on boosting early phase pulmonary fibrosis clinical trials and supporting trial access for those outside of major centres.

At the core of all we do remains one goal – to beat pulmonary fibrosis. Ahead of a busy and transformational 2023, I wish you, your families and loved ones a safe, restorative and joyful holiday season on behalf of the whole PACT team.

Professor Dan Chambers

PACT Chair

Message from the CRE-PF

I can’t believe another year is already coming to a close! It has been a big one for the CRE-PF team. As shared last issue, we have been awarded $2.5m by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council toward a second CRE starting in 2023. Over the next 5 years we will focus our attention on three main themes, identified by consumers as the top priorities for pulmonary fibrosis research focus: 1. Understanding causes and improving early diagnosis; 2. Preventing disease progression; and 3. Improving disease management, moderating symptoms and enhancing quality of life. These themes will be underpinned by cross-cutting programs of research on gene-environment interactions and health economics in pulmonary fibrosis.

With the new CRE, we welcome some new world-leading investigators to our team. In this issue I’d like to introduce Prof Joseph Powell. Joseph is the Director of the Garvan-Weizmann Centre for Cellular Genomics, and Deputy Director of the UNSW Cellular Genomics Futures Institute, University of New South Wales. Joseph’s research is focused on understanding the functional mechanisms by which genetic variants contribute to disease susceptibility at a cellular level, and ultimately achieve therapeutic and diagnostic outcomes. In the new CRE, Joseph will be involved in research to define the genes involved in pulmonary fibrosis and their function, and characterise the molecular signature of pulmonary fibrosis.

On behalf of the CRE-PF team, thank you for your support throughout 2022. I wish you the best for a happy festive season and look forward to great things in 2023.

Yours sincerely,

Prof Tamera Corte (CIA for CRE-PF)

Trials Update

It has been a huge year for pulmonary fibrosis clinical trials with many Australasian centres reaching capacity for patient recruitment, emphasising the importance of pulmonary fibrosis trials and the need for further treatments.  

PACT has recently endorsed two new investigator lead clinical trials – SHIELD and SINFONIA. The SHIELD Whole Lung Lavage Observational Cohort Study is recruiting patients with Silicosis or silica induced bronchitis following exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS) while working in an at-risk industry. The study will investigate the efficacy of whole lung lavage (WLL) as a treatment. The SHIELD study is being run by The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane and will also be recruiting patients in Sydney and Melbourne.  

The SINFONIA study is a unique trial examining the benefits of singing for breathing in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and interstitial lung disease (ILD) patients, and how this may affect breathlessness, wellbeing and symptom management. The format of a weekly 90 minute online singing class means that participants can enrol from anywhere in Australia. This is an exciting development for the PACT team as we look towards making pulmonary fibrosis trials more accessible to patients who live outside of major study centres. 

In other lung disorder research news, the Savara-sponsored IMPALA 2 study has commenced recruiting patients with autoimmune pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (aPAP). The phase 3 trial examines nebulised Molgramostim, with a previous phase 2 study showing promising results for patients with this rare condition. 

Information about current pulmonary fibrosis trials is available on the Find a Trial page of our website. We encourage all our patients who are interested in clinical trials to discuss it with their specialist and get a referral to their local study centre. You can also complete the online enquiries form on our website to link with potential studies. 

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Wrap up of the CREATE Professional Development Weekend for Pulmonary Fibrosis Researchers

The CRE Advanced Training Environment, CREATE, is an initiative of the CRE-PF to nurture the next generation of outstanding pulmonary fibrosis researchers. The first CREATE Professional Development Weekend; supported by Lung Foundation Australia and sponsored by AdAlta, Avalyn, Boehringer Ingelheim and Roche; was held in Sydney on 4-6 November 2022.  

The CREATE Weekend brought early-mid career pulmonary fibrosis researchers together with mentors, supervisors, invited speakers and consumers for intensive professional development. It was, in the words of one attendee, an “excellent event – the balance between professional development, update on latest research and social interactions was perfect, and the consumer session was fantastic!” 

Following the weekend success and overwhelmingly positive feedback, the CRE-PF and Lung Foundation Australia team look forward to further CREATE Professional Development Weekends in future! 


Stay tuned for information about the 2024 PACT grant-in-aid opportunity! Current grant opportunities relevant to pulmonary fibrosis clinical research and trials include: 

  1. MRFF 2022 International Clinical Trial Collaborations Grant – support clinical trials in Australia in collaboration with international counterparts to: give patients across Australia more access to clinical trials; show which treatments and medicines work best for patients; provide researchers with more opportunities to work with international colleagues to bring international trials to Australian patients; and promote new approaches that support efficient and effective research. Round 2 closing 22 February 2023.
  2. MRFF 2022 Clinical Trials Activity Grant Opportunity – support research that addresses one of four designated Streams. Stream 1 – conduct a clinical trial of one or more treatments and/or management-based interventions for rare cancers, rare diseases and/or unmet need. Stream 2 – conduct an implementation science trial to determine the best strategies for reducing inappropriate antibiotic use in clinical settings. Stream 3 – conduct a clinical trial that reduces inequities in health outcomes by addressing the specific health and health care needs that are of priority for people in regional, rural, and remote communities. Stream 4 – conduct a clinical trial that assesses the comparative effectiveness of two or more health interventions to treat a specific clinical condition, to inform the decisions of policy makers, clinicians, and consumers regarding healthcare and to minimise the use of unnecessary, ineffective, and harmful health interventions. Closing 28 June 2023. 
  3. MRFF 2022 Rapid Applied Research Translation Grant Opportunity investing in research projects that encourage academic researchers and health service providers to collaborate to improve health care delivery, services and systems sustainability. Forecast release January-June 2023. 

Upcoming Events of Interest


Registrations are open for the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand’s Annual Scientific Meeting, 25-28 March 2023 in Te Pae, Christchurch, New Zealand. More information is available here.

Virtual PF research meetings 

The CRE-PF CREATE Australasian Pulmonary Fibrosis Virtual Research Meetings will return 17 February 2023 featuring Giulia Iacono from Monash University speaking about her research investigating the pulmonary microbiome during inflammation and fibrosis. Contact Kate Christian on create@cre-pf.org.au to find out more about the program and how to join. 

Health professional webinars

The PACT-TSANZ webinar series from 2021-2022 are now available to watch on demand here. Recent topics include accelerating translational research to cure pulmonary fibrosis and pragmatic trials and registry/EMR-based studies. 

Consumer webinars

Lung Foundation Australia and the CRE-PF partner to deliver a series of consumer webinars on pulmonary fibrosis each year. They are available to watch on demand here. Recent topics include a panel discussion of lived experience of pulmonary fibrosis and diet and nutrition in pulmonary fibrosis.

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The PACT network welcomes new members across all aspects of pulmonary fibrosis research, care and life with the condition. Join our growing community, today.

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Five Minutes with a Pulmonary Fibrosis Researcher Prof Gisli Jenkins

Gisli sat down with the PACT team to talk about the upcoming Randomised, Embedded, Multifactorial, Adaptive, Platform (REMAP) trial for interstitial lung disease (ILD), including how it started, what the team hopes it will achieve and the challenges they’ve faced.

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