Developing new products in cystic fibrosis: needs and obstacles for activities of small and middle-sized companies.
ABSTRACT Small and middle-sized enterprises (SMEs) can make important contributions to medical progress through the development of new safe and effective drugs that address the greatest unmet needs of patients. Regulatory inconsistencies across agencies in various countries, however, remain major challenges in cystic fibrosis (CF) drug development. Clear and consistent treatment guidelines, well educated clinical trial sites, a patient registry and grant funding for early development programs are important success-factors for an efficient development process. SMEs developing products for CF need partners in the CF community to assist with disease education and awareness for ongoing clinical trials. SMEs should collaborate and communicate with the CF community in a legally compliant way to take a patient-centric approach to drug design, development and administration. Furthermore, they can help to develop educational tools and fund medical education activities to increase the understanding of the underlying defects and mechanisms of CF disease.