The CF Foundation’s Cystic Fibrosis Research Development Program (RDP) recently expanded its network to include new CF centers in Denver and Atlanta, two cities that house the two largest CF treatment centers in the country.
The new RDP in Denver, Colorado will be awarded to $2.1 million in funding, to be given over the next 4 years to support studies on the diagnosis and treatment of Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) respiratory infections in CF. These infections pose a significant problem for CF patients as they can be a challenge to detect and manage, and can greatly accelerate lung deterioration.
The Colorado RDP will allocate the funds to create a National Reference Lab that will help enhance NTM sample analysis and track potential outbreaks of the disease. The funds will also go to a study that will attempt to understand why some strains of the NTM bacteria can cause severe lung infections and some do not.
Jerry Nick, M.D., director of the Colorado RDP and the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program at National Jewish Health in Denver, said, “It is essential we learn who will benefit from NTM treatment so doctors can avoid pursuing an aggressive and unnecessary course of antibiotic treatment.” He is also a professor of medicine at National Jewish Health and the University of Colorado Denver – two of the five institutions that comprise the Colorado RDP.
The new RDP in Atlanta will entitle the Emory University, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Georgia Tech to receive $1.8 million over the next four years to launch the program, CF@LANTA RDP.
The investigators in Atlanta will be focusing their research efforts on the causative processes of irreversible lung damage in the event of pulmonary exacerbations and of the development of CF-related diabetes, which is known to be the most common comorbidity of the disease.
“We have been working to build infrastructure funding for the CF program for many years,” said Nael McCarty, Ph.D., Marcus Professor of Cystic Fibrosis at Emory University School of Medicine and principal investigator of the grant. “This is a very important success for Atlanta’s CF research and clinical community.”
Last month, the Foundation also agreed to extend 9 four-year research grants across the RDP network, most of which will be focused on shared resources, such as facilities and specialized staff.