Our Cystic Fibrosis program
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects the respiratory, digestive and reproductive systems involving the production of abnormally thick mucus linings in the lungs and can lead to fatal lung infections. Up until recently, the life expectancy of CF patients was less then 20 years. However, over the past 3 decades, the lifespan of CF patients has nearly doubled, mainly due to better care and new CF medications that not only treat symptoms but cure the underlying cause of the disease. Orkambi, one of these medications, is currently sold at €130’000 per year and patient in Europe and targets 70% of the 29’025 European CF patients. However, based on efficacy data from phase 2 clinical trials, Orkambi is only effective in roughly 50% of the cases. “If the best treatment could be identified quickly and efficiently beforehand, it would improve patients’ care by avoiding useless medications for the patient and unnecessary financial costs for the health insurances,” (Swiss Working Group for Cystic Fibrosis). Indeed, based on the numbers, the financial burden to the Health Care system, solely on money wasted on CF treatments that don’t work, can be as high as €1.3 Billion per year in Europe only.
SUN bioscience is supporting a program funded by the Novartis Research foundation and the Swiss Cystic Fibrosis foundation (CFCH) that develops an accurate and fast clinical test to find the best medication or combination for each patient. The first clinical proof-of-concept is recruiting patient during 2019-2020. A diagnostic efficacy test on patient-specific organoids will allow to reduce immense costs associated with treatments that are not working, help to identify eligible patient and promote the discovery of new and better treatments for CF mutations where there are currently no available treatments.