Ibuprofen, when administered at high dosage, has been shown to be effective in slowing the progressive decline in lung function that accompanies cystic fibrosis. This can significantly extend lifespans for CF sufferers, as the inability to move particles and bacteria from the lungs is the cause of many lung infections and early death. But high-dose ibuprofen is accompanied by adverse effects that include gastrointestinal bleeding and the potential for kidney damage, especially when combined with antibiotics that are often part of CF treatment regime. The solution may be nanoparticle delivery of ibuprofen by aerosol, and researchers from University of Texas, Austin and Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine are working to develop the technology.
The team believes that inhaled ibuprofen could boost the impact of antibiotics that CF patients receive for the underlying infection. Carolyn Cannon, MD, PhD, associate professor at Texas A&M, commented, “We determined that not only does ibuprofen act as an antimicrobial itself, it is also synergistic with the antibiotics we already give to these patients. Together, they kill the pathogens much better than either one does alone and we could get the same great effects of the high concentrations of ibuprofen without the side effects.” Several nanoparticle formulations have been developed by the team, and delivery will be tested in animal models. Cannon observed that because the work involves modifying only the delivery method for an approved medication, the development and regulatory approval process should be relatively straightforward.
Read another article about nanoparticles, here.
Read more about the development work here.