Research Opportunity: A clinical trial investigating a potential new drug for chronic cough in IPF

CANAL study logo with two coloured arches above the text
November 2021

Most people living with pulmonary fibrosis are affected by cough. Coughing can be intermittent or persistent, and often gets worse over time. Coughing can have a significant impact on the quality of life of those living with and affected by pulmonary fibrosis. Currently, options to treat pulmonary fibrosis cough are limited, but research is being carried out to try to develop new treatments.

The CANAL Study is evaluating how safe and well-tolerated an investigational study drug is, and its effect on cough frequency (how often you cough). The effect of the investigational study drug is being compared to a placebo (a tablet that looks the same as the investigational drug but contains no active ingredients.) All participants will receive the investigational study drug and the placebo at different times during the study.

The CANAL Study is one of several clinical trials currently recruiting participants in the UK.  You can search for all available trials using the European Pulmonary Fibrosis Federation (EU-IPFF) clinical trial finder or by searching on  

If you are interested in taking part in a clinical trial, you must speak to your clinical team.    

What is the CANAL Study?  

The CANAL Study is a Phase 2 clinical trial.  The study aims to test the safety and tolerability of an investigational drug (called nalbuphine extended release, NAL ER) on the frequency of coughing in IPF patients.  The trial drug is in tablet form.  All participants will receive both the trial drug and the placebo at different times during the study.    

Can I take part?

You may be able to take part if you have a diagnosis of IPF and have had a chronic cough for more than 8 weeks.  

In all clinical trials, there are lots of different reasons why you may or may not be able to take part.  These are known as inclusion and exclusion criteria. Only the clinical trial team will be able to fully determine whether you are able to take part in the study.

What is involved?

• This study involves taking an investigational study drug.  

• You would need to attend an initial appointment and up to 6 in-person visits and 4 telephone appointments over the course of about 14 weeks. Travel assistance is available for this clinical trial.    

• You would have medical assessments throughout the study, wear a cough monitor occasionally, complete survey forms and keep a health diary.  

Where in the UK is this study taking place?

This study is taking place at trial sites across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

More information about the study can be found on the CANAL Study website.

You must discuss all aspects of your participation or interest in participating in a clinical trial with your medical team.

This post provides information about an opportunity to participate in research. More detailed information about the study can be found by following the link provided.  If you have any questions about the research study, please speak to your medical team and contact the researchers directly.  APF does not endorse or recommend any specific study.  All responsibility for the study remains with the sponsors and investigators.

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Managing Pulmonary Fibrosis cough

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If you need information or advice on living with pulmonary fibrosis, we are here to help.