OTC News Archive

UT pharmacy researcher wins $2.1M grant

Austin Business Journal
September 28, 2010

A University of Texas College of Pharmacy researcher has received a $2.1 million grant to develop new techniques for delivering drugs into lungs.

Dr. Hugh Smyth, an assistant professor of pharmaceutics, will use the funds to help treat lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis. The money was allocated from the National Institute of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

“Cystic fibrosis is one of the most common fatal inherited diseases,” he said, citing statistics showing most with the disease die in their 20s and 30s. The primary reason for such high fatality rates is the inability to deliver medicine inside airways clogged by mucus from the disease.

“The drugs cannot get to the lung cells responsible for cystic fibrosis symptoms,” Smyth said.

“Losing patients to cystic fibrosis is especially tragic since we know what causes it and what could be effective in treating it, but we can’t break through the barriers,” he said.

Smyth is developing a method using magnetic fields to break up the secretions and pull the medicine through to lungs. Findings from his studies are believed to also have applicability to many other lung diseases such as tuberculosis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and chronic lung infections.

[ Austin Business Journal ]