Opko Seeks to Pair Cystic Fibrosis, Respiratory Drugs With Digital Inhaler Device
According to a recent press release, the respiratory drug developer Opko Health has acquired Inspiro Media Ltd., which has developed a “smart,” easy-to-use powder digital inhaler to deliver small molecule drugs such as corticosteroids for respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis. This new platform will give the company several key advantages in the marketplace, which in turn will provide a novel, effective drug delivery technology to some of the most vulnerable patient populations, including the thirty thousand cystic fibrosis patients in the United States.
The “Inspiromatic” device features a flow sensor and an internal micro controller, which gives it the capacity to digitally monitor drug delivery. According to the company’s press release, the device also includes a micro-pump that is designed to evenly distribute drug particles without the need for the patient to force the inhalation of the drug. This feature could be a particular help in monitoring treatment patterns to see if patients properly inhaled the correct dose of a medication.
The company believes that the Inspiromatic is an important step in advancing a new strategy for developing digital health devices to solve drug delivery problems for pharmaceuticals. Opko CEO Dr. Philip Frost envisions several applications for the device. Some early ideas for its application include use with drugs to treat cystic fibrosis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other respiratory diseases; including a pairing of the device with a respiratory drug that is currently in preclinical development. The device is still being tested in a pre-clinical setting, and is slated for human clinical trials in the future. However, previous animal trials have demonstrated its safety and efficacy for oral and inhaled delivery forms. As Dr. Frost noted, “this acquisition fits our strategy of developing new products that address large markets in need of more effective therapeutic solutions.”
Finally, Nimrod Kaufmann, CEO and Co-Founder of Inspiro, commented that, “We are extremely proud of Inspiro’s success in bringing our smart Inspiromatic respiratory drug-delivery device to market. Now we will be able to help more people faster. Inspiro joining OPKO is a big win for the shareholders of both Inspiro and OPKO, as well as good news for our patients and physicians.”
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