How Drugs Get on the Pipeline

The Drug Development Pipeline features an extensive list of drugs that are in development or approved for treating cystic fibrosis. For a drug or program to be shown on the pipeline, it must meet certain conditions.

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The Drug Development Pipeline shows three main categories of drugs — those that are in preclinical development, clinical trials or approved for use.

The image contains a screenshot of the top of the Drug Development Pipeline page.


Preclinical development refers to laboratory testing that is done before a drug is tested in people in clinical trials. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation lists companies that are developing the drugs instead of specific drugs at this stage, as the company sponsor may not have chosen which drug to move into clinical trials.

To be listed as a preclinical program on the pipeline, a program must have received an award from the Foundation committing at least $2 million or have received an award that includes payments that depend on the drug reaching clinical trials.

In order for drugs to be listed in Phases 1-3 on the pipeline, they need to be tested within the Therapeutics Development Network (TDN) and/or be funded by the Foundation. Some programs may conduct initial Phase 1 safety studies in healthy volunteers before a drug is studied in people with CF. Specific information about a drug's status can be found by clicking on the drug name from the main pipeline page.

When a sponsor decides not to pursue further development, drugs are moved into the discontinued section of the pipeline. (Click on the “discontinued” status box to see discontinued drugs.) Eventually, they are removed from the website.

Medical devices such as pumps, nebulizers, and airway clearance devices are not listed on the pipeline.

To advance drug development and a search for a cure, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) has contracts with several companies to help fund the development of potential treatments and/or cures for cystic fibrosis. Pursuant to these contracts, CFF may receive milestone based payments, equity interests, royalties on the net sales of therapies, and/or other forms of consideration. Resulting revenue received by CFF is used in support of our mission. 

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