Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. recently announced the development of an inhaled formulation of a new antibiotic called BAL30072 that may facilitate treatment of patients with cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that usually affects the lungs but can also involve other organs such as the kidneys, liver, pancreas, and intestine. Patients with cystic fibrosis experience clogging of the airways due to mucus build-up, leading to inflammation, injury and structural changes of the lungs. Common symptoms of patients with cystic fibrosis include difficulties in breathing, coughing, and sinus infection. On the other hand, bronchiectasis is a pulmonary disease that causes permanent enlargement of the lung airways. Symptoms that patients with bronchiectasis experience typically include a chronic cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing up blood.
Unfortunately, there is no cure currently available to treat both diseases. However, several therapeutic methods are available for management of the diseases including airway clearance, removal of affected portions of lung by surgical procedures as well as inhaled and oral medications. With respect to this, the inhaled medication method is considered best because it delivers high levels of drugs within the airways with limited systemic effects, allowing a convenient and safe antibiotic and mucolytic therapy for patients with these conditions.
A recent news release reported that Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd. is developing an inhaled version of an antibiotic. The activity of the novel antibiotic BAL30072 against many clinically relevant multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria has already been proven both in-vitro and in-vivo. This drug is expected to improve lung function by overcoming antibacterial resistance, and development of an inhaled version of BAL30072 will allow an easy and efficient treatment for patients with these pulmonary infections.
BAL30072 is being developed as part of a larger effort by the iABC consortium, which involves researchers from Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland. The iABC consortium was formed as a result of an initiative launched by the European Commission in November 2011 to put in place an Action Plan to address the rising threat from Antimicrobial Resistance, calling for “unprecedented collaborative research and development efforts to bring new antibiotics to patients.” The New Drugs for Bad Bugs (ND4BB) program was launched within the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) in direct response to this call. IMI is a joint undertaking between the European Union and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA); it constitutes Europe’s largest public-private initiative aiming to accelerate the development of better and safer medicines for patients.
In conclusion, the inhaled formulation of BAL30072 antibiotic looks promising for treatment of patients suffering from chronic lung infections, the major cause of disease and mortality in patients with cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis. The development of this inhaled version of antibiotic will certainly lead to better patent’s quality of life. This project is now in pre-clinical development stage preparing for clinical phase 1 studies that will be accomplished in collaboration with iABC consortium within the European IMI.
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