They then tested the nanoemulsion against several bacterial strains grown in biofilms and sputum, to more closely simulate conditions in a patient's body. Antibiotics often can't penetrate biofilms and sputum unless given at high doses with unacceptable side effects.
"We saw, not surprisingly, that greater concentrations of nanoemulsion were required to kill the bacteria, but we saw no strains that were resistant," LiPuma says. Whether humans can tolerate those concentrations well remains to be seen.
LiPuma's lab, funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as a national reference lab, has collected more than 30,000 strains of bacteria from the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. The lab receives samples from around the world for analysis.
The University of Michigan has filed for patent protection on the CF nanoemulsion, and licensed this technology to Ann Arbor-based NanoBio Corporation. Baker is a founder and equity holder of NanoBio. NanoBio and LiPuma's lab will cooperate in the next steps toward bringing the treatment to market. LiPuma is optimistic that if animal and human trials go well, a nanoemulsion treatment for cystic fibrosis infections could be available in as little as five years.
|Contact: Anne Rueter|
University of Michigan Health System