Lung exacerbations

Lung exacerbations or a worsening of CF symptoms can be very hard to predict. We’re currently funding studies in children and adults to understand more about them. If we can predict when they might happen, then we can treat them quicker and ultimately aim to make them happen less often. Below is a list of our Venture and Innovation grants we've awarded in this area.

Project Breathe – Can home monitoring reduce the number of clinic visits for people with cystic fibrosis?

Magic Bullet Ltd
Our contribution: £50,000
Partners: Magic Bullet Ltd, Innovate UK £150,000, Microsoft

For people with cystic fibrosis clinic visits can be time-consuming and expensive. However, it can be the only way for them and their clinical team to monitor their health. Following the successful SmartCareCF pilot where people with CF took part in daily health monitoring at home, Project Breathe aims to evaluate whether an evolved version of home monitoring, with better equipment and improved monitoring software, could change the way that care for people with cystic fibrosis is managed.

Based on a review of their home monitoring data between the participants and clinical team in a virtual meeting a week prior to a scheduled clinic appointment, a decision will be made on whether the clinic visit is necessary and, if so, in what form.

Participants will be recruited from the Papworth CF centre in Cambridge only. If successful, it is hoped that this model can be adopted in other clinics around the country. Data from this study will be included in machine-learning studies to predict lung exacerbations as part of the Innovation Hub.

Watch a video introducing the Project Breathe Partnership.

Commercial partner, Government agency partner 


Professor Jane Davies, Imperial College London, UK
Our contribution: £28,400
Partner: Imperial College, £28,400

Poor care during childhood can affect the health of someone with CF for the rest of their lives. In light of this, every potential to improve the quality and burden of care of children with cystic fibrosis should be pursued. CLIMB CF is a pilot study investigating the feasibility of home monitoring for children with cystic fibrosis. If successful, home monitoring would give more regular information about lung function, allowing earlier detection of any changes. As it is at home, it would be far less disruptive to daily life to the person with CF and their family, avoiding time off for hospital visits.

More information on this research is available in an article on our website.

Academic partner

Can you predict lung exacerbations from adult home monitoring data?

Professor Andres Floto, University of Cambridge, UK
Our contribution: £45,000
Partner: Cambridge University, £45,000

Cystic fibrosis is characterised by a sudden worsening, or flare up, of respiratory symptoms, known as lung exacerbations. These can be hard to predict and what causes them is unknown. Two studies have been conducted using home monitoring of lung function in adults with CF, where participants entered daily information on their lung function. This has generated a large amount of data. Preliminary analysis suggested that the data collected could help predict when a lung exacerbation may happen. This project is using an artificial intelligence approach to develop a mathematical model for predicting exacerbations. Ultimately the researchers hope that this would tell people with CF and their clinicians what lung function tests they need to monitor, and how their lung function might change before an exacerbation happens.

More information on this research is available in an article on our website.

Academic partner

Research we fund

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Venture and Innovation Awards

Our Venture and Innovation Awards (VIAs) bring funding into transformational cystic fibrosis research.

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