CF Foundation Awards up to $2.4M for a New Approach to Reduce Infections

Potential treatment from Calithera Biosciences minimizes growth of germs in the lungs

Nov. 2, 2020 | 3 min read

BETHESDA, Md. -- Today, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation announced a new research award of up to $2.4 million to Calithera Biosciences Inc. to advance a potential treatment to reduce infections in the lungs of people with cystic fibrosis. Individuals with CF who have chronic infections are at greater risk for worsening, life-threatening lung disease, making infections a top concern of both patients and clinicians.

Calithera's investigational treatment, CB-280, aims to limit the activity of an enzyme called arginase that, when elevated, reduces nitric oxide in the lungs and thereby creates favorable conditions in the airways for bacteria and other microorganisms to colonize. Preclinical studies indicate that inhibiting arginase may increase nitric oxide levels, reducing all types of infection and improving lung function in people with CF. Funds from the CF Foundation will be used to advance clinical development of CB-280, which is currently being studied in a Phase 1b clinical trial. 

“New approaches are needed to address the difficult-to-treat infections that remain a hallmark of cystic fibrosis,” said J.P. Clancy, MD, vice president of clinical research at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “Identifying and progressing novel ways to fight infections remains a top priority for the CF Foundation, and we look forward to learning more about this potential new treatment and its ability to prevent bacteria from taking hold in the lungs.”

The CF Foundation's Commitment to Infection Research

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 here, 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

Media Contact

Ashley Mahoney
Phone: 240-200-3754 

Industry Contact

Lindsey Beaman
Phone: 240-200-3780

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