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.
Pulmatrix is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled therapies to address serious pulmonary disease using its patented iSPERSE™ technology. The Company's proprietary product pipeline is focused on advancing treatments for rare diseases, including PUR1900, an inhaled anti-fungal for patients with cystic fibrosis (CF). In addition, Pulmatrix is pursuing opportunities in major pulmonary diseases through collaborations, including PUR0200, a branded generic in clinical development for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Pulmatrix's product candidates are based on iSPERSE™, its proprietary dry powder delivery platform, which seeks to improve therapeutic delivery to the lungs by maximizing local concentrations and reducing systemic side effects to improve patient outcomes.
Certain statements in this press release that are forward-looking and not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company cautions that such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may materially affect the Company's results of operations. Such forward-looking statements are based on the beliefs of management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to management. Actual results could differ materially from those contemplated by the forward-looking statements as a result of certain factors, including but not limited to the ability to establish that potential products are efficacious or safe in preclinical or clinical trials; the ability to establish or maintain collaborations on the development of therapeutic candidates; the ability to obtain appropriate or necessary governmental approvals to market potential products; the ability to obtain future funding for developmental products and working capital and to obtain such funding on commercially reasonable terms; the Company's ability to manufacture product candidates on a commercial scale or in collaborations with third parties; changes in the size and nature of competitors; the ability to retain key executives and scientists; and the ability to secure and enforce legal rights related to the Company's products, including patent protection. A discussion of these and other factors, including risks and uncertainties with respect to the Company, is set forth in the Company's annual report on Form 10-K filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 10, 2016. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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SOURCE Pulmatrix, Inc.