× Medicines Discovery Catapult

The CF Syndicate in AMR will catalyse new research efforts and build capacity in the following three focus areas:

Enabling access to CF samples

Access to clinically relevant CF samples is essential for the preclinical screening and testing of new antimicrobial therapies, before they can be tested in the clinic; however, finding and accessing these samples remains a challenge for the CF research community, especially industry.

Clinically relevant CF samples include:

  • Sputum – A sample of saliva and mucous naturally brought up from the airway of a person with CF
  • Isolates – A culture of a bacteria or fungus, grown and isolated from a sputum sample
  • Strains – Isolates that have been characterised, for example where their DNA sequence or a feature of their growth can be specifically recognised to identify them

In order to demonstrate that a new antimicrobial could be effective against CF infections, drugs need to be screened against many different CF strains and isolates. New antimicrobials are often also tested in CF sputum samples, to enable more predictive testing.

To streamline and enable access to CF samples, the Syndicate is collating information to developing guidance and resources on CF strains that can be used for antimicrobial testing, and how they can be accessed. In parallel, the Syndicate is also scoping the potential to develop an integrated CF bioresource to enable more efficient and coordinated collection, storage and sharing of CF samples. This bioresource would provide a solution to store and share more samples and therefore increase the capacity for CF infection research.

More information on this will be published on this website in the future.

Mapping the preclinical screening and testing pathway for CF antimicrobials

Preclinical screening and testing are a key part of the drug development process that provides experimental data to predict whether a drug is likely to be effective in the clinic. However, there is little guidance on which assays and models should be used for preclinical testing in CF. This has been highlighted to the Syndicate as a key challenge for industry, who find it difficult to navigate the preclinical screening and testing pathway.

The CF Syndicate in AMR is working with innovators in the field to drive programmes of research that will map and validate the preclinical screening and testing pathways for CF. In parallel, the Syndicate aims to develop robust guidance on novel techniques used in preclinical testing such as those involving sputum samples. When available, these outputs will be disseminated to the community to enable faster progress for those already working in CF, and to provide a framework for companies to reposition existing assets in CF.

Developing guidance for industry

TPPs are strategic tools used to provide guidance during drug discovery and development. They can drive consensus on what constitutes a successful new therapy. To guide and facilitate drug discovery for CF infection, and to ensure companies are developing drugs based on patient and clinical need, the CF Syndicate in AMR is developing TPPs for CF antimicrobial therapies. The TPPs will enable the development of a pipeline of new antimicrobials that meet the needs of people with CF.