Theradux (formerly OrPro and ORP-100) is an experimental biologic drug derived from a modified form of thioredoxin, a natural airway enzyme that acts to thin mucus in the lungs by preventing excess molecular bonds from forming in mucus layers. Thinner mucus is more easily cleared from the airways of people with cystic fibrosis (CF).1
How Theradux works
Theradux (modified human thioredoxin-1) represents a new class of inhaled therapies that target structural changes in the mucus of CF patients through a pH-independent mechanism that prolongs activity and separates the drug in the mucus layer. Older mucolytic-reducing agents that break up mucus lose much of their potency in airways due to the low pH there, and are rapidly absorbed in the body, potentially resulting in systemic side effects. Theradux, in a nebulized form, is designed to go directly to the lungs to lower absorption elsewhere and be more effective. It relaxes abnormally stiffened mucus with the goal of restoring mucus transport and clearance.
Theradux is expected to work both alone and in conjunction with Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Regulator (CFTR) modifier therapies to alter the course of CF progression. It is being developed by OrPro Therapeutics.
OrPro/Theradux for cystic fibrosis
Results of in vivo and in vitro preclinical experiments involving Theradux were presented at the 2015 North American Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Conference. That data confirmed the treatment’s mucus-binding mechanism, and demonstrated no toxicity or inflammation in acute aerosol-inhalation studies.
In a poster presentation at that same conference in 2016, OrPro announced results of a preclinical study involving patient samples at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Theradux was reported to be at least twice as effective in increasing mucus transport as Pulmozyme (dornase alfa), a standard of care mucolytic for CF treatment.
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