Neutrophil Elastase focus at Cystic Fibrosis Trust Conference

Date : October 01, 2015

ProAxsis attended the 2015 Cystic Fibrosis Trust Conference in Manchester where we heard from many leading cystic fibrosis (CF) specialists. Much attention was focussed on the role of neutrophil elastase (NE) and its identification as one of the key risk factors of early CF lung disease.

Marcus Mall, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Heidelberg delivered the Keynote speech on ‘Early mucus obstruction and inflammation: pathogenesis and strategies for therapeutic intervention’. His speech highlighted links between mucus obstruction and NE in addition to demonstrating that lack of NE reduces neutrophilic airway inflammation and structural lung damage in mouse models. He reported that high levels of NE are found on the neutrophil membrane and that membrane-associated NE activity correlates with lung function in patients with CF.

Professor Cliff Taggart from Queen’s University Belfast continued the focus on neutrophils during his presentation on ‘Inflammatory cells in the CF airways’, in particular highlighting the presence of increased numbers of neutrophils in patients with CF, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and acute lung injury (ALI). Many questions were raised and discussed regarding reasons for this elevation and also around new strategies for normalising inflammatory cell function.

Stuart Elborn, Professor of Respiratory Medicine at Queen’s University Belfast gave an overview of pulmonary inflammation and summarised that more research is needed in the study of the lung microenvironment. He discussed new therapies in the pipeline which target NE. Of particular note is POL6014, a NE inhibitor in development by Polyphor. Preclinical studies demonstrate a significant reduction in neutrophil infiltration in bronchoalveolar lavage from mice. Importantly, POL6014 is due to enter clinical trials in the next couple of months. Another compound, Resunab™ from Corbus Pharmaceuticals Inc. has been found to clear neutrophils in lungs of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infected mice.

For further information on the ProAxsis ProteaseTag™ Active Neutrophil Elastase Immunoassay visit