Inhaled Ibuprofen in Development for Cystic Fibrosis Treatment

Inhaled ibuprofen could be used with antibiotics currently taken by patients with cystic fibrosis.

Researchers are currently working on an inhaled version of ibuprofen to treat patients with cystic fibrosis.

Previous research has indicated that high doses of ibuprofen can slow the progression of the disease, but can also cause gastrointestinal bleeding and acute injury when taken in combination with antibiotics.

"We feel that nanoparticle ibuprofen delivered by aerosol to the lungs would be a fantastic therapeutic," said researcher Carolyn Cannon, MD, PhD.

The development and approval process should be fairly easy since they are just changing the delivery of the drug, according to the researchers at Texas A&M.

"The researchers who performed the original ibuprofen study thought it was working solely by inhibiting the migration of a type of white blood cell, called the neutrophil, to the lung. It goes hand-in-hand with acute inflammation," Dr Cannon said. "However, although this may be one mechanism of action, at the high doses that were being given to the cystic fibrosis patients, the drug also has antimicrobial properties."

Inhaled ibuprofen could potentially be used with antibiotics that patients are already taking.

"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," Dr Cannon said. "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."

The researchers are trying to obtain patent protection and hope to receive Investigational New Drug status for clinical trials.

Researchers plan to deliver nanoparticles containing ibuprofen to the lungs of animal models as well as seeing how the nanoparticles improve pneumonia survival rates, according to the researchers.

"This type of experiment addresses the pharmacokinetics of the drug and aims to investigate our hypothesis that we can achieve high local concentrations in the lung while maintaining low systemic concentrations," Dr Cannon concluded.