There’s been a lot in the news over the last year about iron chelators assisting in the treatment of lung infections and breaking up biofilms so I thought it was pretty interesting to see the phase I trial of Ganite (Gallium Nitrate) show up a few weeks back. Gallium is not an iron chelator but it does interfere with how iron is processed by cells (including bacteria): “Gallium is known to interfere with certain iron-dependent metabolic processes, which can be lethal to single-cell organisms such as bacteria, mycobacteria (e.g., tuberculosis), protozoa (e.g., malaria), and fungi”
Even more interesting is the article in MarketWatch that provides a success story on the use of Ganite along with more info on the trial:
Genta Presents Initial Clinical Data on Use of Gallium Compounds as Treatment for Serious Infections
The one thing I really didn’t like reading in this article was the end of this section: “These data show that gallium is preferentially concentrated in sputum of infected lungs,” said Dr. Raymond P. Warrell, Jr., Genta’s Chief Executive Officer. “High levels were achieved and sustained during short courses of treatment – an especially promising result that should obviate any need to consider direct inhalation”
Does each treatment take 5 days on IV? If so then an inhaled form would be desired. The other alternative is the oral version of Gallium. This however is still preclinical and would be some time, if ever, before available. Finally, considering the young age of the CF population, the therapeutic seems like it would be best in an inhaled form.
Either way, it’s encouraging to see another potential tool to fight infections, especially highly drug resistant ones, enter clinical trials.