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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Drug Offers New Hope For People With Cystic Fibrosis

Emily Schaller of Detroit has Cystic Fibrosis, and has noticed a dramatic improvement in her breathing after trying a new drug developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. (Cystic Fibrosis Foundation)

Emily Schaller of Detroit has cystic fibrosis, and has noticed a dramatic improvement in her breathing after trying a new drug developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. (Cystic Fibrosis Foundation)

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Vertex Pharmaceuticals of Cambridge, Mass. have announced a successful trial for a new drug that treats the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis.

About 30,000 people in the United States have CF, which is caused by a genetic mutation that creates a buildup of thick mucus in the lungs and digestive system. People with CF rarely live beyond their mid-30’s. Drugs currently on the market only treat symptoms of the disease, while the new medication targets the defective protein that causes it.

Patients in the study experienced dramatic improvements in lung function and weight gain. We speak with one of them, Emily Schaller of Detroit, who is breathing better than she can ever remember.


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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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