The money, equivalent to $118,000, will support the development of CF therapies based on Enterprise Therapeutics’ bronchosphere technology platform.
Cystic fibrosis blocks airway passages. The condition stems from faulty airway-surface liquid production, which leads to mucus accumulation and more bacterial infections. This can result in chronic infections, airway inflammation, and progressive decline in lung function.
There is an urgent need for disease-modifying therapies that target the underlying mechanisms of mucus congestion. Finding them would reduce the frequency of lung infections and improve patients’ quality of life. CF patients often have poor quality of life due to a high treatment burden and susceptibility to chronic lung infections that lead to frequent hospitalizations.
Bronchospheres are a miniaturized model of the human airway. They allow scientists to study the functioning of key airway cells in the context of a fully functioning epithelium, or layer of tissue that covers passages.
Scientists culture bronchospheres in a three-dimensional matrix. They form ball-like structures, with airway cells inside the structures.
Enterprise’s bronchosphere platform is a mucus-regulation approach that helps scientists study and treat CF and other lung diseases. Bronchospheres are ideal for high-throughput screening to identify new drug targets, Enterprise said. High-throughput screening lets scientists look at vast numbers of potential drug candidates in a short period.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with the Cystic Fibrosis Trust on this important project. The Trust’s funding will enable critical research to be undertaken to drive a greater scientific understanding of CF and support development of innovative treatments for this challenging genetic disease,” John Ford, CEO of Enterprise Therapeutics, said in a news release.
“This exciting approach will bring hope to the many people living with CF in the UK. We look forward to working with Enterprise Therapeutics and believe that their technology will bring us a step closer to identifying effective new medicines that may improve the lives of people with CF and those who care for them,” said Janet Allen, director of strategic innovation at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.