Cospray-dried unfractionated heparin with L-leucine as a dry powder inhaler mucolytic for cystic fibrosis therapy

Jagdeep Shur, Thomas G. Nevell, Richard J. Ewen, Robert Price, Andrew Smith, Eugen Barbu, Joy H. Conway, Mary P. Carroll, Janis K. Shute, James R. Smith
  • Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, November 2008, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1002/jps.21362

Heparin cospray dried with L-leucine produces powders to clear airways in cystic fibrosis patients

Photo by Jerry Charlton on Unsplash

Photo by Jerry Charlton on Unsplash

What is it about?

Patients with cystic fibrosis suffer from congestion of secretions in the airway that are difficult to clear. Heparin has properties that can disperse these secretions and can be used in a dry powder inhaler. Since heparin is hygroscopic the powder can absorb water and reduce its efficacy. This paper reports the cospray drying of heparin with L-leucine which produces fine powders which significantly reduce moisture uptake, enabling the powder "to fly."

Why is it important?

Mucolytics that remove the thick airway secretions that restrict airflow and harbour infection in CF patients improve their quality of life. Having personal spray devices rather than paying visits to the hospital to use large, fixed nebuliser devices has obvious advantages.


Dr James R Smith
University of Portsmouth

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr James R Smith