Channahon man optimistic about new FDA approved drug in fight against cystic fibrosis

CHANNAHON, Ill. (WLS) -- Brandon Wolfe enjoys spending quality time with his family. Playing with his young sons wasn't always easy, but he has a lot more energy to play after testing a new drug to treat a genetic disease he's battling.

Wolfe suffers from cystic fibrosis, a rare, life-threatening disease that results in the formation of mucus in the lungs and other organs.

The genetic disease claimed Wolfe's older brother Greg's life four years ago.

"Since then, it's been a struggle for me mentally, physically for myself," Wolfe said.

The Food and Drug Administration recently approved a new three-drug combination, called Tikafta months ahead of the agency's deadline. The drug has showed clear signs of targeting the root of cystic fibrosis.

Wolfe tested the new drug during an 18-month trial.

"I'm just taking a pill, and this is worth more than anything else I've ever done in my entire life," Wolfe said.

Doctor Steve Boas was involved with the clinical trials for Trikafta, which required Wolfe to take a combination of three pills daily. Boas also monitored Wolfe's progress. Wolfe said he noticed a difference after taking the pills almost immediately.

"Within a day or two I noticed a deeper breath," Wolfe said.

The drug could benefit 90 percent of patients with cystic fibrosis. Those who benefit from the drug will need to take it every day for the rest of their lives.

"I don't have to stop 20 times to have to spit in the bathroom to get the mucus out," Wolfe said.

It remains to be seen if patients will have an easy time gaining access to the drug, which costs $300,000 a year. While it carries a very large price tag, insurers may cover the drug.

Wolfe said he has hope for a happy, healthy future.

"There's a light at the end of the tunnel for CF patients," Wolfe said.
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