Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thankful for New Drugs!!!

This Thankful Thursday is a pretty easy one! I'm so thankful for the new drug just approved by our FDA :) I've heard nothing but great things about this drug from fellow cysters and fibros and I really can't wait to try it out myself. Make sure to call your clinic ASAP to see if this is a drug that can help you and one that you can get on sooner rather than later.

The drug by the way is Cayston, also known as AZLI. Think of it as another TOBI type of drug that can be done during your off month of TOBI or can be done instead of TOBI all together. It has to be taken three times a day, but the great part is, the treatment takes 2 to 3 minutes!!!

Bring it on!

Gilead Sciences, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted marketing approval for Cayston(R) (aztreonam for inhalation solution) as a treatment to improve respiratory symptoms in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients with Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa). Cayston's safety and efficacy have not been established in pediatric patients below the age of 7, patients with forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) of less than 25 percent or greater than 75 percent predicted, or patients colonized with Burkholderia cepacia.

Cayston is administered at a dose of 75 mg three times daily over a 28-day period and is delivered via the Altera(R) Nebulizer System, a portable, drug-specific delivery device using the eFlow(R) Technology Platform, developed by PARI Pharma GmbH. PARI Pharma also contributed to the development of Cayston's drug formulation for delivery with the Altera Nebulizer System. Cayston will be available in the United States by the end of next week through certain specialty pharmacies.

"All of us at Gilead extend our thanks to the investigators and to the people with cystic fibrosis who took part in the Cayston clinical trials," said Norbert Bischofberger, PhD, Gilead's Executive Vice President, Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer. "We look forward to making Cayston available to the cystic fibrosis community as soon as possible."

CF is a chronic, debilitating genetic condition that affects the respiratory and digestive systems of approximately 70,000 people worldwide, including 30,000 people in the United States. Chronic respiratory tract infection with P. aeruginosa contributes to the decline in pulmonary function, which is often associated with morbidity and mortality among CF patients.

"Since its founding in the 1950s, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has worked to advance the care and treatment of cystic fibrosis and we are pleased with the progress to date," said Robert J. Beall, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. "However, a significant need for new treatments remains for people with cystic fibrosis, particularly for those with chronic pseudomonal infection. As the first new inhaled antibiotic approved for use in cystic fibrosis in more than a decade, Cayston therefore represents an important therapeutic option in the care of patients with cystic fibrosis."

Cayston received conditional marketing authorizations in the European Union and Canada in September 2009 and was approved in Australia in January 2010. Applications for marketing approval of Cayston are currently pending in Switzerland and Turkey.

Reimbursement and Access to Care

Gilead also announced today the establishment of a program designed to minimize barriers to access for Cayston for uninsured, privately insured and government-insured people with cystic fibrosis.

Additionally, Gilead is launching the Cayston(R) Access Program, a call center developed with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Pharmacy, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The program will assist people with cystic fibrosis and members of their care team with insurance verification, referral to participating specialty pharmacies, claims support and co-pay assistance. For information about the Cayston Access Program, call 1-877-7CAYSTON (877-722-9786) or visit

About Cayston

Cayston (aztreonam for inhalation solution) 75 mg is an inhaled antibiotic for patients with cystic fibrosis who have P. aeruginosa. Aztreonam has potent in vitro activity against gram-negative aerobic pathogens including P. aeruginosa. Cayston contains aztreonam formulated with lysine, a proprietary formulation of aztreonam developed specifically for inhalation. Aztreonam formulated with arginine has previously been approved by FDA for intravenous administration.

Cayston is administered three times a day for a 28-day course, followed by 28 days off of Cayston therapy. Cayston is administered by inhalation and should only be used with an Altera Nebulizer System. Patients should use a bronchodilator before administration of Cayston.

Article from Business Wire. February 22, 2010. To read the full article please click here.