Pulmatrix Announces Experimental Inhaled Anti-Fungal Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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Pulmatrix, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on inhaled therapies for serious pulmonary diseases, recently announced a new drug candidate called PUR1900 for the treatment of fungal infections associated with cystic fibrosis (CF).

CF is a rare, life-threatening genetic disease in which a defective gene (CFTR) induces a salt imbalance, causing the body to form unusually thick, sticky mucus that can obstruct the airways and promote dangerous lung infections, resulting in serious respiratory and gastrointestinal manifestations. The majority of CF patients eventually succumb to respiratory failure. There is no cure for the disease and it is estimated that almost 75,000 individuals worldwide suffer from CF, including 30,000 individuals in the United States. However, new therapies are dramatically improving lifespan for CF patients.

Up to 50% of CF patients experience pulmonary fungal infections, which can lead to lung inflammation and poor long term outcomes. PUR 1900 is an inhaled formulation of an anti-fungal compound that can be administered directly to the lungs at high therapeutic doses with reduced systemic side effects.

“Fungal lung diseases affect millions of people worldwide and thus represent a large and growing public health issue,” said Dr. Richard Moss from Stanford University in a press release. “Current anti-fungal therapies for lung disease are limited in both safety and efficacy, so new agents and methods, such as PUR1900, safely delivering effective agents directly to the lung address a significant and important unmet medical need.”

Pulmatrix plans to present data at a scientific meeting later this year on the structure and composition of PUR1900 and pre-clinical results. “We are excited to advance PUR1900 toward the clinic to address the need for effective anti-fungal therapy for patients with CF.” said the President and CEO of Pulmatrix Dr. Robert Clarke. “Beyond our program in CF patients, there is also the potential for PUR1900 to prevent fungal infections in a broader population of immunocompromised patients who are underserved today.”

PUR1900 is based on the company’s iSPERSE dry powder technology in which particles are engineered to be small, dense and dispersible, allowing a highly efficient and precise dose administration, and a personalized configuration to the specific needs of a patient population.

“We see tremendous unmet medical needs in rare pulmonary diseases where the advanced capabilities of our iSPERSE technology can enable inhaled therapies that treat at the site of disease in the lung. We are dedicated to advancing these therapies to improve the lives of patients with rare pulmonary diseases, such as CF,” concluded Dr. Clarke.