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A novel macrolide antibiotic as an anti-inflammatory for COPD

The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) research team at the NIHR Royal Brompton Respiratory Biomedical Research Unit (BRU) will be running an exciting new clinical trial that will examine the potential anti-inflammatory effects of the novel macrolide antibiotic, Solithromycin. 

COPD is caused by tobacco smoke or other inhaled pollutants and these agents induce an oxidative stress and inflammatory response in the small airways and alveoli that results in changes in the airway and increased resistance to airflow. Current drugs either treat the symptoms (bronchodilators) or reduce the underlying inflammation (corticosteroids), but are not completely effective in combating this disease. 

Dr Craig Batista, a clinical research fellow at the respiratory BRU, says: “We have known for some time now that macrolide antibiotics may work as anti-inflammatories in COPD, and if taken long-term could benefit some patients. Unfortunately, antibiotics taken in this manner can lead to the generation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which is a serious public health issue. Solithromycin on the other hand, has been designed differently and bacteria are far less likely to generate resistance to this medication. Furthermore, we have already seen some very promising results with solithromycin in the laboratory. I am looking forward to evaluating this new medication in COPD.”

The study is funded by Cempra Pharmaceuticals, the manufactures of the drug, and the trial will be carried out in collaboration with Dr William Man and his team at Harefield Hospital.

To find out more about this study please contact Dr Craig Batista.

March 2015

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