CF Foundation Awards up to $3.75M to Matinas BioPharma to Develop Oral Version of Antibiotic for NTM Infections

Potential oral formulation of drug targeting nontuberculous mycobacteria infections could reduce side effects of current treatment 

Nov. 20, 2020 | 3 min read

BETHESDA, Md. -- Today, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation announced a new research award of up to $3.75 million to Matinas BioPharma for the development of an oral version of amikacin, an antibiotic that targets nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) infections in people with cystic fibrosis. Developing new therapeutic options like this one for infections is a top priority for the Foundation. NTM infections are notoriously difficult to treat, often persisting after a year or more of antibiotic treatment. 

Amikacin is one of the primary drugs used to treat NTM infections in people with CF. Matinas is investigating an oral formulation of the drug that may reduce the risk of known amikacin side effects such as hearing loss and kidney problems. An oral version would also make it easier for someone with an NTM infection to take the drug from home.

Matinas will use this funding for preclinical safety studies to determine whether the oral formulation is potentially a safer alternative to IV amikacin for treatment of NTM in people with cystic fibrosis. 

“NTM infections are difficult to treat and current therapeutic regimens are associated with serious side effects,” said JP Clancy, MD, vice president of clinical research at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “By supporting this research, we hope to identify new options that are easier to tolerate for people with CF who contract this increasingly common type of infection.”

The CF Foundation previously provided $485,000 in funding to Matinas for preclinical research into the efficacy of the drug against a range of mycobacterium species.

The CF Foundation's Commitment to Infection Research

People with CF who have chronic infections are at greater risk for worsening lung disease and death, and infection remains a top concern of both patients and clinicians. Many individuals also suffer severe side effects from long-term antibiotic use and are at increased risk of developing antibiotic-resistant infections.

In 2018, the CF Foundation dedicated $100 million through 2023 to its Infection Research Initiative as part of a sweeping effort to advance infection research. Currently, the CF Foundation is funding 13 new industry programs to develop treatments for CF-related infections and is advocating for Congress to create solutions that promote a robust, sustainable pipeline of antibiotics.

Beyond research into novel anti-infectives, the CF Foundation is focused on advancing the next generation of transformative therapies to address complications, treat the underlying cause of CF for every person, and find a cure. Innovators who are interested in pursuing programs in cystic fibrosis can learn about our specific funding opportunities, including the Infection Research Initiative.

About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world's leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. The Foundation funds more CF research than any other organization, and nearly every CF drug available today was made possible because of Foundation support. Based in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation also supports and accredits a national care center network that has been recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a model of care for a chronic disease. The CF Foundation is a donor-supported nonprofit organization. For more information, visit

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