Multiple treatments are available for cystic fibrosis (CF) but, while combinations of these improve life expectancy, no single drug has the ability to both control inflammation and rectify functional defects in CF. However, researchers may now have discovered a drug that can.
Thymosin Î±1 (TÎ±1) is a synthetic version of a naturally occurring peptide found in the thymus gland. The commercial version of TÎ±1 (Zadaxin) has been approved as an immunomodulator for 15 years in 37 countries and has an excellent safety record.
The study found that TÎ±1 corrected genetic and tissue defects in the lung and gastrointestinal tracts of mice with CF, and also in cells from individuals with the p.Phe508del CF mutation. TÎ±1 works by regulating inflammation and increasing the stability of mutant CF transmembrane conductance regulators.
Publishing their results in Nature Medicine
, the researchers conclude that TÎ±1 has strong potential as a single-molecule-based therapeutic agent capable of preventing CF progression.