Novel Cystic Fibrosis Treatment Shown To Be Effective as Mucoactive Antimicrobial, Antibiofilm Agent

Daniela Semedo, PhD avatar

by Daniela Semedo, PhD |

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shutterstock_126332501A new study published in the Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, presented the effectiveness of Cysteamine for the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis.

The study, entitled  “Cysteamine (Lynovex®), a novel mucoactive antimicrobial & antibiofilm agent for the treatment of cystic fibrosis” was conducted by NovaBiotics Ltd.  researchers.

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a genetic condition that alters the respiratory track due to a defective gene that produces a protein causing the overproduction of unusually thick and sticky mucus that clogs the lungs. In the US, estimations are that there are 1,000 new cases per year with a total patient population of approximately 30,000. CF leads to life-threatening lung infections and pancreatic dysfunction.

The available treatment options for CF include drugs that fight the respiratory pathology of this condition, however, treatments must address the altered lung physiology and the complex, polymicrobial infections and biofilms that affect CF patients. Current evidence shows that there is a need for safe, effective and long-term treatments for this condition. In this regard, the team of researchers from Novabiotics examined cysteamine  (Lynovex) as a potential option for CF, as it is a established treatment for patients with cystinosis showing to have mucoactive, antibiofilm and antibacterial properties.

In this study, scientists compared the current available “gold standard”  drug agents used in clinical practice for CF with the cysteamine properties. The antibacterial and antibiofilm features of cysteamine were tested in a sample of CF pathogens using CLSI standard and adapted microbiological methods, as well as a BioFlux microfluidic system. Tests were conducted under normal nutrient media circumstances and minimal media to mimic the low metabolic activity of microbes/persister cells in the CF respiratory tract and in artificial sputum medium. Cysteamine as a mucolytic was measured against DNA and mucin in vitro by semi-quantitative macro-rheology.

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Results from the study revealed that cysteamine has a mucolytic activity similar to the one found in the available mucoactive agents. The compound was an effective anti bactericidal both in metabolically active and persister cells of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and of evolving CF pathogens. Furthermore, cystemanine averted the development of, and disrupted established P. aeruginosa biofilms, and was found to reverse antibiotic resistance in CF bacterial pathogens.

NovaBiotics Ltd. researchers concluded that the novel cysteamine drug called Lynovex® is an effective mucolytic-antifilm-antimicrobial agent and that it is a feasible treatment option for patients with Cystic Fibrosis. Researchers recommended the need for other trials to replicate their findings and test the effect of cysteamine in populations suffering from this problematic condition.