In the past, few companies have invested in chronic and recurrent acute pancreatitis therapies, in part because researchers did not know what was causing the inflammation of the pancreas. Now, scientists are learning more about what causes the inflammation in many patients. When we know what biological processes are going wrong (called “targets”), researchers can work to identify therapies that will correct the problem.
The targets Mission: Cure is pursuing are listed below.
CFTR, the gene that causes cystic fibrosis, is farthest along. Mutations in this gene may be the cause of up to half of chronic pancreatitis cases. The good news is that researchers understand the mechanisms that are responsible for pancreatitis, and there are several drugs that are approved or in development for cystic fibrosis that may also work for chronic or recurrent acute pancreatitis.