Most things have multiple functions. The tire iron you use to jack up the car when changing a flat tire? It can be used as a self-defense weapon if an unsavory figure stops while you’re changing said tire. The flat side of a chef’s knife can be used to crush garlic and/or remove the skin.
In much the same way, medicines can have beneficial effects for more than one disease.
Recently, a clinical trial looked into treating cystic fibrosis (CF) with Zadaxin, a drug indicated to treat viral infections.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes a person’s normal mucus to become thick and accumulate in the lungs. Not only does it affect the lungs, but people with CF have difficulty digesting food because the mucus prevents an important digestive enzyme from absorbing nutrients from the food.
During the clinical trial, which is still in the early stages of testing, Zadaxin—a drug that modulates the immune system—seemed to address both the inflammation as well as stimulate the functioning of another necessary protein. In this case, the drug was tried on mice.
This therapy could move through the testing phase rather quickly.
As Zadaxin has already been approved by the FDA, human trials and off-label prescriptions may become available in the very near future.
This is an exciting time for those with CF as more and more treatments become available—many of which address both the respiratory as well as the digestive difficulties of living with CF.
Click here to read more about the clinical trial. But be forewarned; this article is a little dense when it comes to medical jargon.