ATS Foundation/Insmed Announces $50K Research Award in NTM Lung Disease

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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ATS Foundation

Applications for the new ATS Foundation/Insmed Research Award in Non-Tuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM) Lung Disease will open soon to provide one-year funding of $50,000 to researchers seeking to find better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat this complex condition.

NTM lung disease is a chronic and progressive condition caused by mycobacteria that are commonly found in the environment. People with lung disorders, like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma, among others, are more likely to develop NTM lung disease, as these disorders can damage the lungs in a way that makes them less capable of clearing NTM bacteria.

“Nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease is occurring at an increasingly frequent rate, often striking individuals with underlying lung disease, leading to a chronic, debilitating disease,” Charles Daley, MD, of the National Jewish Health, said in a press release. “Through Insmed’s support, this new award will provide a much needed source of funding for scientists to find better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat these complex infections and ultimately help our patients suffering from NTM disease,” Daley said.

In the United States, there were an estimated 86,244 cases of NTM lung disease in 2010, and that number is growing by approximately 8 percent every year.

To fight that trend, the ATS Foundation is collaborating with Insmed to identify methods to improve the diagnosis and treatment for NTM lung disease.

Insmed is a global pharmaceutical company developing therapeutic products for people with rare diseases. Its lead product candidate, amikacin liposome inhalation suspension (Alis), is in late-stage development for adult patients with treatment-refractory NTM lung disease.

Alis is based on the antibiotic amikacin and is designed using Insmed’s proprietary liposomal technology formulation (which allows the delivery of drugs directly to the site of the lung infection).

“Insmed is proud to support the important work that ATS and researchers around the world are doing to advance the care and treatment of NTM lung disease,” said Will Lewis, Insmed’s president and CEO.

“The tremendous difficulty that NTM lung disease patients have in getting an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment is well-documented. The creation of this research award is critical to broadening access to information and deepening understanding that will ultimately lead to specialized care for this community,” Lewis said.

Applications opened in mid-April and funding will cover the period of December 2018 through November 2019. Applicants will be evaluated for their project’s scientific merit, innovation, viability, and relevance to the field of NTM lung disease.