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New drug developments may help cystic fibrosis patients

New drug developments may help cystic fibrosis patients
1st November 2011

New drug candidates have been discovered that may help treat cystic fibrosis and other diseases.

Researchers have identified that calcium-activated chloride channels could offer promising new treatment targets for patients with an illness that involves the hydration of cells that line the inner surfaces of the body’s organs and tissues.

Dr Alan S Verkman, author of the study, stated: “Further pre-clinical development of the chloride channel activators identified in our study may lead to new drug therapies for cystic fibrosis, dry eye and mouth syndromes and certain types of constipation.”

High-throughput screening, in which more than 100,000 drug-like compounds were tested for their ability to activate TMEM16A channel, allowed Dr Verkman to identify small molecule drug candidates.

Studies have previously shown that aerosol-based therapy, which uses a specific epithelial sodium channel-blocking agent called GS-9411, can help cystic fibrosis patients keep airway surfaces moist.

The increase in moisture allows patients to keep the airway clearer of mucous and infectious agents.

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