Sharktank.org (Sharktank Research Foundation) was formed in 1998 by a group of individuals who have Cystic Fibrosis themselves or who have children with this disease. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is the most common fatal genetic disease in developed countries. CF is a chronic, progressive multi-organ disease. The most debilitating effects are seen in CF lungs, where recurrent cycles of inflammation and infection and thick sticky mucus secretions lead to a steady decline in lung function.
There have been major advancements in CF research, including the landmark 1989 discovery of the CFTR gene that is defective in Cystic Fibrosis. However, decades later CF patients continue to use therapies that treat symptoms of disease rather than addressing disease mechanisms at their root cause.
We at Sharktank Research Foundation have learned that ions other than sodium and chloride in the airway surface liquid contribute to proper airway hydration and fighting off infection. We believe that aerosol delivery of these ions that fail to be transported properly to the airway surface in CF patients will restore a more normal airway surface composition capable of killing bacteria, thereby preventing future infections and mitigating decline in lung function. This safe and well-tolerated therapy will work for all CF mutations, and will not increase antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Although an ion drug formulation has been tested in a select group of patients so far, the results are dramatic; lung function is improved and stabilized, and dependence on IV antibiotics is greatly reduced.
Sharktank.org represents members from diverse backgrounds, including scientists, microbiologists, professors, medical doctors, chemists, pharmacists, electrical engineers, home-makers, and even a former debt collector! Though diverse, we share a common goal to better the health of patients with debilitating lung disease. Working together with other patient groups and stakeholders, we believe that we can make a revolutionary drug available for use in patients within one year. There is urgency to bring this effective new drug to the patients who desperately need it. We hope that you will join with us in this effort.