For those people with cystic fibrosis carrying rare CFTR mutations not responding to currently available therapies, there is an unmet need for relevant tissue models for therapy development. Here, we describe a new testing platform that employs patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) differentiated to lung progenitor cells that can be studied using a dynamic, high-throughput fluorescence-based assay of CFTR channel activity. Our proof-of-concept studies support the potential use of this platform, together with a Canadian bioresource that contains iPSC lines and matched nasal cultures from people with rare mutations, to advance patient-oriented therapy development. Interventions identified in the high-throughput, stem cell-based model and validated in primary nasal cultures from the same person have the potential to be advanced as therapies.
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