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Development, clinical utility, and place of ivacaftor in the treatment of cystic fibrosis

Authors O'Reilly R, Elphick HE

Received 19 March 2013

Accepted for publication 11 May 2013

Published 30 August 2013 Volume 2013:7 Pages 929—937


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Ruth O'Reilly, Heather E Elphick

Sheffield Children's Hospital, Western Bank, Sheffield, United Kingdom

Abstract: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-limiting, multisystem disease characterized by thick viscous secretions leading to recurrent lung infections, bronchiectasis, and progressive deterioration in lung function. CF is caused by loss or dysfunction of the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein which is responsible for transepithelial chloride and water transport. Improved understanding of CFTR protein dysfunction has allowed the development of mutation-specific small-molecule compounds which directly target the underlying CFTR defect. Ivacaftor is the first licensed small-molecule compound for CF patients which targets the CFTR gating mutation Gly551Asp (previously termed G551D) and has the potential to be truly disease-modifying. Ivacaftor is an oral medication given twice daily and has shown benefit in terms of an increase in lung function, decreased sweat chloride, weight gain, improvement in patient-reported quality of life, and reduction in number of respiratory exacerbations in clinical trials. Although ivacaftor is currently only licensed for use in approximately 5% of the CF population (those who have at least one Gly551Asp mutation), the developmental pathway established by ivacaftor paves the way for other CFTR modulators that may benefit many more patients. In particular, a CFTR modulator for those with the Phe508del deletion (previously ΔF508) would allow 90% of the CF population to benefit from disease-modifying treatment.

Keywords: cystic fibrosis, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, ivacaftor

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