Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics Inc. (CFFT) announced today it has awarded more than $4 million to the Norwegian pharmaceutical company AlgiPharma AS to continue testing a drug that has shown in early lab tests that it can help restore normal function to cystic fibrosis mucus and improve the effectiveness of some anti-infective medications.
The primary function of mucus in the lungs is to clear foreign particles like dust and bacteria from the lung, a process made difficult by the abnormally thick, sticky mucus in the airways of people with CF. Returning that mucus toward normal makes it easier to cough out and clear germs, and improves breathing.
AlgiPharma is conducting two Phase 2 clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy, safety and tolerability of OligoG, which is a sodium alginate oligosaccharide. The 28-day clinical trials are ongoing in Europe and include recruitment of participants from the U.K., Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. OligoG is derived from a brown seaweed found mainly along the coasts of Norway and Great Britain.
CFFT previously had awarded $6.9 million to AlgiPharma to help fund the development of OligoG, bringing the total award to AlgiPharma to nearly $11 million.
CFFT is the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's nonprofit drug discovery and development affiliate, created to help speed development of new cystic fibrosis treatments by funding promising scientific research.