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Drexel Cystic Fibrosis Center Wins Designation and Funding

March 5, 2009

The Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center at Drexel University College of Medicine has earned a designation that paves the way for more clinical trials to research treatments for the chronic disease that affects the lung and digestive systems of 30,000 Americans. 

Drexel’s center has been designated a Cystic Fibrosis Therapeutics Development Center, a distinction it will share with the Cystic Fibrosis Center at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. The two centers also will split an annual grant of $86,400 given by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc., the non-profit drug discovery and development affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

“This should increase the access to clinical trials and the number of trials,” said Dr. Jeffrey Hoag, principal investigator and associate director for the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Center.

“We are very proud to have received this award, and it really should help us to advance cystic fibrosis treatment options,” he said.

Drexel’s center currently participates in four clinical trials. Anas Hadeh, MD and assistant professor of medicine, is director of the center.

In addition to funding, the Therapeutics Development Network will help set up clinical trials and facilitate interactions between the centers at Drexel and St. Christopher’s and pharmaceutical companies.

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease that causes the body to make thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs, obstructs the pancreas and blocks enzymes from helping the body absorb food. Fifty years ago, few cystic fibrosis sufferers lived past childhood; today, many will live into their 40s or beyond.