Respirion

Novel antibiotic therapy for cystic fibrosis lung infection that combines the standard of care antibiotic with adjuvants which enhance the activity of the antibiotic by disrupting the biofilm and the bacterial membrane. This new formulation will be delivered via a novel device.

Respirion Pharmaceuticals (Respirion) is developing a novel antibiotic therapy for the treatment of the inherited life-threatening disease, Cystic Fibrosis (CF). Thick sticky mucus accumulates in patient airways, leading to chronic infections particularly by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These infections are virtually impossible to eradicate with existing approved treatments, and continuous infection and inflammation lead to progressive tissue damage and reduced lung function. Recent breakthroughs in CF therapy have extended the median survival age from around six years in the 1950s to more than 40 years today, but infections remain a major challenge. Respirion’s therapy is a combination of the antibiotic tobramycin with an adjuvant that helps break down the biofilms that bacteria erect to protect themselves in the lung. In a recent clinical study, the combination not only improved the bacterial killing of the antibiotic, but also improved overall lung function. Patients using the combination saw a greater reduction in bacterial load as well as a greater improvement in lung function compared to patients using tobramycin alone. This demonstrates the potential of Respirion’s therapy and could represent a powerful new tool to improve treatment of infection. Respirion is currently undertaking formal pre-clinical studies with development in Australia and the US.