It quite humbling to consider that much of the equipment and services we have supplied over many years are used by scientists to develop drugs that could potentially make huge differences to individuals’ lives.
Many people know of someone who has Cystic fibrosis. It is a genetic disorder which currently has no cure and causes a thick mucus to form in the lungs needing daily massaging to keep clear. Sufferers are more prone to infections and other complications with life expectancy much lower than non sufferers.
This week I was heartened to hear of two news stories offering more hope for Cystic fibrosis sufferers. One was of a young Newcastle University medical student, Jo Armstead, who whilst at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester examined medical data from over 75,000 Cystic fibrosis patients and made the discovery that over 50% are infected with a common fungus called Aspergillus. Aspergillus is often found in places such as compost heaps and damp cellars, it does not affect people with normal health but this new discovery by Jo allows suffers of Cystic fibrosis to consider avoiding such places and of course more importantly allows development of drugs that could in the future protect sufferers from the fungus.
The other story is the ongoing development of a drug by one of our long standing Asynt customers; Vertex. Their drug called Lumacaftor, has passed a key stage in its clinical trials successfully this week, which is of course good news for Cystic fibrosis patients who, if all continues well with the trials, may be able to benefit from its properties of improving lung function. Of course it is not known to us at Asynt if any of the equipment or services supplied to Vertex over the years have been used for the development of this new drug but still gives us a good feel factor that many of our customers are working hard to develop drugs that really help people…
If you are affected by this subject and would like to find out more about Cystic Fibrosis you can see more information at www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk