Article Open Access

Translational Studies Reveal the Divergent Effects of Simtuzumab Targeting LOXL2 in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

Fibrosis. 2023, 1(2), 10007;
Women’s Guild Lung Institute, Department of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA
Department of Biology, Gilead Sciences, Inc., Foster City, CA 94404, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received: 22 Aug 2023    Accepted: 23 Nov 2023    Published: 28 Nov 2023   


The composition of extracellular matrix (ECM) is altered during pathologic scarring in damaged organs including the lung. One major change in the ECM involves the cross-linking of collagen, which promotes fibroblast to myofibroblast differentiation. We examined the role of lysyl oxidase (LOX)-like 2 in lung progenitors and fibroblasts cultured from normal or IPF lung samples and in a humanized mouse model of IPF using a monoclonal antibody (Simtuzumab). Primary lung fibroblasts from normal donor lungs and IPF lung explants were examined for expression of LOXL2. Targeting LOXL2 with Simtuzumab on normal and IPF fibroblasts was examined both in vitro and in vivo for synthetic, functional, and profibrotic properties. LOXL2 was increased at transcript and protein level in IPF compared with normal lung samples. In a dose-dependent manner, Simtuzumab enhanced differentiation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts. Inhibition of LOXL2 also enhanced fibroblast invasion and accelerated the outgrowth of fibroblasts from dissociated human lung cell preparations. Finally, preventative or delayed delivery of Simtuzumab enhanced lung fibrosis in a humanized mouse model of pulmonary fibrosis. Consistent with its failure in a Phase 2 clinical trial, Simtuzumab exhibited no therapeutic efficacy in translational in vitro and in vivo assays.


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