Drug inventor who saved 4M babies: “We will make an even better drug”
Curosurf co-inventor, Dr. Tore Curstedt, is still active in drug development and plans to bring to patients a new, synthetic version of Curosurf:
– You have dedicated your life to treating and helping premature babies who would otherwise die if it were not for the drug that you co-developed. But you still are very active in research now and you are developing a synthetic medication. Can you tell us a little bit more about the synthetic medication that you’re developing that supposedly will be much easier to scale up? Because you don’t have to take in animal material anymore. – Because, of course, if we have one pig, they were not big. It can produce two or three vials of surfactant. At least you can treat 2 – 3 babies, not more than that. And you need huge amount of pigs. You can’t scale up too much. You can’t treat grown ups with lung diseases. And already in the late 90s, we knew the exact composition of surfactant. Phospholipid composition, and the sequence of the peptides. And we thought that in the end of the 90s, beginning 2000, we will have a synthetic surfactant. But we had problem because we tried to make recombinant peptides, the proteins, SPB and SPC, it was no problem to get the right sequence, but SPC, for example, is an alpha helix. But it was not an alpha helix, when we made a recombinant SPC. So that was the problem, the structure, three-dimensional structure. And then we had to start making analogs, and have made many different analogs during the last 20 years. And now, we have two very good analogs. And we have combined these analogs with phospholipids and we have tested it in our rabbit models. And also safely studied in three countries, in Czech Republic, and in Germany and England. And it functions very well. And clinical trial has started a couple of months ago, an it will start in Europe.