A team of researchers led by Cincinnati Children’s Hospital scientist Bruce Trapnell has developed a drug for a rare lung disease that has stymied researchers for decades. The disease, called autoimmune pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, or aPAP, strikes an estimated 2,000 to 8,000 people in the U.S. The disease causes the lungs to fill up with a surfactant that must be washed out in an invasive procedure done under general anesthesia.

Instead, doctors hope patients can inhale the new drug once daily to keep their lungs clear of the pulmonary waste. Scientists from 34 institutions in 18 countries participated in the clinical trial. After additional studies, the researchers will seek FDA approval.