New Inhaled Antibiotic Cayston Gains Rapid and Broad Acceptance – 2010 NACFC

A key focus of this year's North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference (NACFC) was the progress of the more than 30 potential new therapies moving through the CF Foundation's drug development pipeline.

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Among them is Cayston®, an inhaled form of the antibiotic aztreonam lysine, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February and made available to patients in March. The new drug treats lung infection caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which occurs in up to 80 percent of adults with CF.

Developed by Gilead Sciences, Inc., Cayston is the first new inhaled antibiotic for CF developed in more than a decade. It offers a much-needed alternative for those who battle persistent P. aeruginosa lung infection and often develop resistance to existing antibiotics.

It is also the first drug to advance through the pipeline with Foundation support at every step of the way - from the initial discovery stages, during multiple phases of clinical trials and, finally, in delivering the treatment to patients.

“There's been rapid and broad acceptance of Cayston,” said George Z. Retsch-Bogart, M.D., a pediatric pulmonologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and principal investigator on several Cayston clinical trials. “We've seen that it really has been a benefit in preserving lung function and is a welcome addition to CF treatment options.”

Cayston is administered with a new device, the Altera® Nebulizer System, which allows patients to take the medicine in less than five minutes.

“It delivers a dose that is four to five times more efficient than our existing jet nebulizers,” said Dr. Retsch-Bogart, who also serves as medical director of the N.C. Children's Airway Center. “That's really important for people with CF, given how much we are already asking them to do in a day's time.”

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