The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) recently awarded a research grant to investigate the anti-inflammatory activity of solithromycin (CEM-101) and its effect on mucin secretion in models for cystic fibrosis (CF).

Richard C. Boucher, MD, Kenan professor of medicine and director of the Cystic Fibrosis and Pulmonary Research and Treatment Center at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, was awarded the grant.

The grant will include tests of solithromycin, an oral and intravenous fluoroketolide being developed by Cempra, which has demonstrated greater potency than azithromycin and other antibiotics against respiratory pathogens as well as stronger anti-inflammatory properties in vitro and in animal models, according to the clinical-stage pharmaceutical company.

“Treatment of cystic fibrosis patients is complicated by the secretion of excessive mucin, which can trap bacteria, as well as promote airway inflammation,” said Boucher. “Our research is directed toward identifying compounds that can inhibit mucin formation, reduce inflammation and restore normal airways physiology. Macrolides, such as azithromycin, have been used to manage these processes in CF patients in the past. Solithromycin is one of the promising new agents in development, because of its potent anti-inflammatory and anti-mucin activity, that could become an important option for physicians managing CF patients.”