Advances in Inhaled Drug Delivery Offer Major Benefits to Patients, Chief Scientific Officer for Pulmatrix Explains in Article
Writing in ONdrugDelivery Magazine, CSO David L. Hava describes how innovative new strategies for delivering inhaled drugs to the lungs can fight serious bacterial and fungal infections.
LEXINGTON, Mass., April 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Pulmatrix, Inc. (NASDAQ: PULM) announced today that its Chief Scientific Officer, David L. Hava, PhD, has written an article in ONdrugDelivery Magazine highlighting advances in delivering drugs to the lungs to fight infections.
As Dr. Hava explains, bacterial, viral, and fungal lung infections "afflict millions of people annually."
Particularly at risk are patients whose immune systems or lungs are compromised. In people with cystic fibrosis (CF), for instance, mucus accumulates in the airways. As a result, "patients with CF become colonized with a number of different bacteria early in life and eventually become chronically colonized with pathogens," Dr. Hava writes. In addition, many cystic fibrosis patients become infected with a spore-forming mold called Aspergillus fumigatus, which often then causes an allergic reaction.
To fight these infections, companies have developed innovative new strategies for delivering antibiotics and antifungal drugs directly to the lungs, Dr. Hava writes.
For instance, companies have created liquid solutions of antibiotics that are turned into a fine mist using a device called a jet nebulizer. The mist then can be inhaled into the lungs.
These inhaled drugs represent a major step forward, Dr. Hava writes: "The development of nebulized inhaled antibiotics provided a major advance to address significant unmet need in CF."
But there are limitations to delivering drugs to the lungs with nebulizers, Dr. Hava explains. That's why scientists and companies, such as Novartis, Acorda Therapeutics, and Savara, are developing formulations using dry powders that can be inhaled.
In one promising new strategy, Pulmatrix is creating small, dense drug particles that can be easily inhaled using its patented particle engineering technology, iSPERSE.
Pulmatrix is now developing an inhaled product using an antifungal drug, itraconazole, for cystic fibrosis patients. Recent studies show that oral itraconazole is effective in treating CF patients who are suffering from allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA). The problem, though, is that high oral doses are needed to get enough of the antifungal drug to the lungs through the bloodstream. That causes severe side effects that must be managed and monitored—including liver toxicity.
Delivering the drug directly to the lungs can dramatically reduce the risks of both side effects and drug-drug interactions, Dr. Hava believes. Such an approach offers benefits not just to cystic fibrosis patients but also to many others with compromised immure systems and fungal lung infections.
The Pulmatrix drug candidate, called PUR1900, "has the potential to provide a valuable addition to current treatment options for pulmonary fungal diseases," Dr. Hava concludes.
SOURCE Pulmatrix, Inc.