The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has surpassed $100 million in research funding through its Infection Research Initiative, created to help address the
The current funding stands at more than $109 million. The Foundation aims to continue to support infection research at the same pace as it has in the past three years.
“Reaching this goal doesn’t mean we have reached the finish line. We will maintain this momentum and continue to fund any science that we believe holds real promise to address infections,” said Tiffany Burnett, co-lead of the Infection Research Initiative and senior director of biopharma programs at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “Chronic infections are a serious threat to the health of people with CF, and we continue to need improved detection and more effective treatments.”
People with cystic fibrosis who have chronic infections are at greater risk for worsening lung disease, and infection remains a top concern for both patients and clinicians. In 2018, the CF Foundation dedicated at least $100 million to its Infection Research Initiative, a comprehensive approach to improve outcomes associated with infections through enhanced detection, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.
The Foundation’s investment in this initiative paves the way for our continuing efforts to pursue novel and non-traditional ways to treat drug-resistant infections, optimize current therapies, and expand our work into better detection and diagnosis. A major focus moving forward is the development of new technologies for quicker, more accurate tests to detect and diagnose infections beyond
Our Infection Research
Since the start of the Infection Research Initiative, the Foundation has funded more than 20 industry programs focused on developing new treatments and more than 200 academic research projects. The majority of the funding -- $60 million -- has gone to developing new treatments. The initiative ushered in a dramatic uptick in the number of Foundation-supported studies with a 67% average annual increase in the number of studies compared to 2018, the year before the start of the initiative.
Many people with CF live in fear of contracting an infection for which existing antibiotics are not effective. To address the increasing problem of
Nitric oxide, a gas
The Foundation has funded cutting-edge infection research at institutions around the country. To begin to tackle better detection and diagnosis of infections, the Foundation has committed close to $6 million to help identify emerging technologies in the field of detection that do not require sputum. The reason for this effort is that it is becoming more difficult to test for infections as people with CF who are taking Trikafta® are less able to produce sputum on demand or have significant decreases in the amount of sputum they can produce. Providing alternative diagnostic tests to inform care and advance drug development and
Marking a highlight of our ongoing academic research, the Foundation recently received the results to the STOP2 clinical trial that showed that a longer course of IV antibiotics was not more effective than a shorter course in treating a
In continuation of the STOP studies, the STOP-PEDS pilot study is underway. This study will evaluate children 6 to 18 years old with CF to determine the acceptability and feasibility of a larger trial, comparing whether to treat mild pulmonary exacerbations with antibiotics right away versus waiting to see whether increased airway clearance or another approach is enough to make symptoms better.
The Foundation also is supporting the development of STOP3. The first study of the STOP3 program will evaluate if the addition of an IV aminoglycoside to IV beta lactam antibiotic treatment is superior to just a beta lactam antibiotic to treat Pseudomonas. This study hopes to show that two IV drugs (one of which is an aminoglycoside) isn’t superior to one IV drug in treating an exacerbation. This is important because
A Look Ahead
The Foundation will continue to fund infection research to address the unmet needs of people with CF. One example of this is our upcoming effort to design a large-scale study to treat
Our infection research also has the potential to benefit the broader public. Three of the seven most common infections in people with CF -- caused by Aspergillus, MRSA, and Pseudomonas -- are also serious threats to the general population.
To ensure that new infection treatments that stem from our infection research make it into the hands of patients, we will continue to promote a sustainable and robust antibiotics pipeline and a marketplace that rewards innovation. As part of this effort, we will continue to advocate for the PASTEUR Act -- bipartisan federal legislation that, if passed, will support the development of new antibiotics and promote appropriate use of existing ones.