Helping mothers with cystic-fibrosis

Dr Elena Schneider-Futschik, (Dept of Biochemistry & Pharmacology) tests safety of new drug in pregnancy

Cystic-fibrosis sufferers are able to live longer, healthier lives, and to raise families of their own thanks to a new medication, Trikafta.

But it is not clear whether Trikafta and similar treatments are safe for pregnant women with cystic fibrosis.

Elena Schneider-Futschik, a cystic fibrosis researcher at the School of Biomedical Sciences is investigating this crucial question.

“Patients don’t know if it’s safe to continue drug treatment during pregnancy,” she told The Sydney Morning Herald. “On the other hand, if these patients stopped drug treatment, their lung function decreases again, which puts them at higher risk for preterm delivery, and also puts their babies at higher risk.”

Early results are encouraging, suggesting that while Trikafta accumulates in the foetus over time, the drug is safe to take during pregnancy. If these results are confirmed, it may be possible to start treating babies with the condition before birth, she says.

Trikafta was listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) a year ago for patients 12 years and older.