Pulmazole (PUR1900) is based on itraconazole, an antifungal drug, combined with an innovative technology developed by Pulmatrix called iSPERSE, which is a dry powder delivery platform. The combination of these two products allows the medicine to be delivered directly to the lungs at a much higher efficiency than other methods.
Preclinical data to be presented at the conference will demonstrate that Pulmazole can lead to a high concentration of itraconazole in the lungs — a feature that is particularly necessary in the case of diseases such as cystic fibrosis, which are associated with a high incidence of lung infections. This also leads to lower levels of the antifungal drug in the bloodstream, reducing the risk of side effects.
“These data show that Pulmazole has the potential to be a major medical improvement over the current treatment, in which itraconazole is given as an oral pill,” Robert W. Clarke, PhD, CEO of Pulmatrix, said in a press release.
“The low concentrations in the bloodstream are expected to significantly reduce the often-dangerous side effects experienced with oral dosing, while the high levels in the lungs should bring a major increase in efficacy.” Clarke added.
Pulmazole is being developed to treat allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA), which can occur in patients with a variety of lung diseases, including cystic fibrosis and asthma, and in patients with compromised lung function.
ABPA develops due to colonization of the airways by the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus, and it is estimated to affect 15 percent of patients with cystic fibrosis. The presence of ABPA is associated with severe exacerbations and poor long-term outcomes.
Pulmazole has received orphan drug status from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), which provides tax reduction and exclusive rights to develop a drug for a specific condition for a period of time. Pulmazole also has received two “Qualified Infectious Disease Product” (QIDP) designations from the FDA.
The NACFC 2017 meeting is taking place in Indianapolis, Indiana.