There is a fungus among us.
Imagine having cystic fibrosis and then ending up with a fungal lung infection.
People who already have compromised lung health find it difficult to treat any extra assaults to their bodies. We breathe in tiny spore-forming mold called aspergillus fumigatus all the time. If you are healthy, your mucus expels the spores or your immune system attacks them and they do not become an issue.
Patients with cystic fibrosis and asthma who develop allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) have a difficult time dealing with this assault.
This is a hard infection to fight. It is after all an infection in the lungs and taking medicine by mouth isn’t very effective for a lung infection. The medicine has to go through your entire system before it gets to your lungs. It can cause lots of unwanted side effects and still may not work very well. So what to do? What if this lung infection could be treated with an inhaled medication? This medication would go directly to the lungs which is the site of the infection.
A company named Pulmatrix received an award from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics to support the development of PUR1900 for the treatment of pulmonary fungal infections, according to a press release put out by that company. Pulmatrix is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled therapies to address serious pulmonary diseases.
“This award will help fund the non-clinical safety studies needed for the Phase 1/1B clinical trial that we plan to begin in 2018,” explained Pulmatrix CEO Dr. Robert Clarke. “It underscores the potential for PUR1900 to treat this serious condition, which is currently a major unmet medical need.”
Pulmatrix may be able to help these lung infections by combining an anti-fungal drug, itraconazole, with the company’s innovative and proprietary iSPERSETM dry powder. This powder will “fly” easily into the lungs when it is breathed in. It will deliver large amounts of the drug directly into the lungs where it can work better to get rid of this infection.
When you breathe this drug in (as opposed to taking it by mouth), it is expected to not have as many serious side effects or drug-to-drug interactions.
In fact, preclinical trials with PUR1900 show that it achieves much higher concentrations of the drug in the lung, and much lower levels in the blood, compared to giving the drug orally.
To read more about this drug and Pulmatrix click here.