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NIH Funds Synedgen to Develop a New Drug to Improve Airway Clearance
Date:9/27/2013

Claremont, CA (PRWEB) September 27, 2013

Synedgen announces the award of a National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Small Business Innovation Research grant from the NIH to explore the mechanisms of a natural modified biopolymer to both reduce the viscosity of mucus and the cohesion of biofilms, potentially leading to a pulmonary treatment for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) to enhance airway clearance and augment the activity of standard therapeutic antibiotics. In preliminary studies, this new approach to controlling molecular interactions in thick sputum and biofilms has shown significant reductions in viscosity and cohesion.

Due to a genetic defect, CF patients have thicker mucus in their lungs and respiratory tract that is very difficult to clear. The resulting accumulation of mucus allows for colonization by biofilm-producing bacteria. The combination of thick mucus and invasive bacterial biofilms can dramatically reduce lung function of CF patients. Because the biofilms provide a sheltered environment to protect bacteria from antibiotic treatments, CF patients typically suffer from persistent and recurrent lung infections.

In partnership with Dr. Steven Rowe, Associate Professor School of Medicine, University of Alabama Birmingham (UAB), and Director of the CFF Therapeutics Development Network’s Center for CFTR Detection, researchers will be assessing a new drug’s role in reducing the viscosity of patient derived sputum. Using human bronchial cell lines that have the CF defect, they will study the drug’s effect on the relationship of sputum viscosity and mucociliary clearance by assessing activity on monolayers of ciliated cells. Since the drug has already been shown to disrupt biofilms, studies to examine the combined effect of the drug with standard antibiotic treatments will explore the effects of this new drug in enhancing the antibiotic therapies used in CF patients.

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