Development of Levofloxacin Inhalation Solution to Treat Pseudomonas Aeruginosa in Patients with Cystic Fibrosis

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Inhaled therapies allow for the targeted delivery of antimicrobials directly into the lungs and have been widely used in the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) acute pulmonary exacerbations. Nebulized levofloxacin solution (MP-376) is a novel therapy that is currently being evaluated in phase I, II, and III clinical trials among patients with stable CF and recent isolation of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from sputum. Phase I studies have investigated the single and multiple-dose pharmacokinetics of MP-376 and shown that it is rapidly absorbed from the lungs and results in low systemic concentrations. A subsequent phase IB study found that MP-376 pharmacokinetics were comparable among adults and children 6–16 years of age. Further phase II studies reported that sputum P. aeruginosa density decreased in a dose-dependent manner among patients who were randomized to MP-376 when compared with patients who received placebo. Improvements in pulmonary function and a decrease in the need for other antipseudomonal antibiotics were also reported for patients who received inhaled levofloxacin. The most common adverse event was dysgeusia (abnormal taste sensation), which was reported by nearly half of the participants who received MP-376. No serious drug-related adverse events were reported. These findings are encouraging; however, data from the two ongoing phase III trials are needed to determine whether MP-376 demonstrates substantial evidence of safety and efficacy as a chronic CF maintenance therapy and therefore may be useful in routine clinical practice.