New drug gives new hope to Cystic Fibrosis patients - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

New drug gives new hope to Cystic Fibrosis patients


A drug just approved by the FDA could eventually lead researchers to a cure for Cystic Fibrosis.

The drug is the first of its kind to address the underlying cause of Cystic Fibrosis.

An East Texas mother spoke about what this means for her son who suffers from the disease.

For Heather Bell, this new drug means the possibility of watching her little boy, Evan, grow up to be a man one day.

"We are holding out a ton of hope based on these results that Evan will be able to  a life a long life, a full life without CF," Bell said. 

Evan was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when he was 18-months-old. It's a chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system because a defective gene and its protein product cause the body to produce unusually thick, sticky mucus.

Dacia Edmonson with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation says, "In the East Texas area, we're looking at about 20 to 25 families that are affected by CF."

Kayldeco will help patients with the G-551D mutation--which is only found in four percent of the CF population.

Even though Evan suffers from a different mutation-- Delta F508. It's found in nearly 90 percent of the CF population.

This approval sets the stage for the next drug which is for his genetic mutation," Bell says.

Edmonson said, "This drug, in combination with others that are already in the pipeline through the foundation, will then address the majority of the CF patients-- both the potentiators and the correctors of the gene involved."

Meaning Evan could one day have a long life, without Cystic Fibrosis.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals will begin shipping Kalydeco to pharmacies in the U.S this week.

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