Bronchiectasis (BE) is a chronic lung disease that affects approximately 600,000 individuals in the U.S. and is characterized by recurrent cough, sputum production, and frequent respiratory infections. There currently are no FDA approved treatments indicated as treatments for this growing patient population that can manage airway exacerbations, reduce antibiotic usage, or improve quality of life.
People with BE have abnormally dilated bronchi as a result of many years of infection, airway inflammation, and subsequent tissue damage. The airways are stuck in a 'viscous cycle' of host response to infections caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
More than 20 percent of adults with BE battle Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PA) infections. Once PA is established in the airways, it becomes difficult to eliminate, and multidrug resistant forms of this Gram-negative pathogen lead to higher morbidity and mortality.
Vast is developing an inhalable nitric oxide-based compound to treat chronic PA infections in individuals with BE. Our lead drug candidate ALX1 has demonstrated unprecedented in vitro activity against multiple strains of PA bacteria, including susceptible, non-susceptible, and multidrug-resistant isolates. Additionally, we are interested in developing the first and only treatment for acute exacerbations in this patient population, regardless of underlying microbial etiology, given the unique broad spectrum antibacterial activity of nitric oxide.