People who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may see a bit of relief on the horizon with Novartis’ next-generation Breezhaler, now under development between Qualcomm Life, a susidiary of Qualcomm Inc., and Novartis.
The two companies are expanding their global partnership on novel treatments and therapy management for COPD. Qualcomm Inc. is a global leader in 3G, 4G, and next-gen wireless technology and digital communications.
COPD is an umbrella term used to address a group of conditions that cause airflow obstruction within the lungs. Characterized by progressive symptoms, the condition can be caused by exposure to cigarette and tobacco smoke, air pollutants, carcinogenic gases, and allergens. COPD can be a combination of chronic bronchitis (long-term cough with sputum), asthma (obstruction of airways due to chronic swelling), or emphysema (progressive destruction of the lungs).
Qualcomm Life is currently developing the reference design of a small, low-power, disposable module to connect the next-gen Breezhaler™, part of Novartis’ portfolio of innovative COPD treatments, including Seebri, Onbrez and Ultibro, which is the leader in the long acting β2-agonist (LABA), and long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) therapy class.
The module was designed to be effortlessly connected with Qualcomm Life’s 2net Platform, and is able to detect and report inhaler uses and duration of inhalation, indicating the quality of the treatment.
“This is an exciting time for healthcare as we see the proliferation of the ‘Internet of Medical Things’,” Rick Valencia, the senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm Life said in a press release. “Through our expanded collaboration with Novartis, we are able to deliver a frictionless digital health experience to their COPD patients.”
Novartis’ goal for this alliance is for it to allow the company to become the first owner of a fully integrated and connected delivery device that provides patients with a simple user experience and eliminates the need to assemble the device themselves, making the management of their COPD a little easier.
Novartis plans to market Breezhaler in 2019, after manufacturing, testing, and regulatory approvals. With the new features that this device brings, like real-time data capture, the company aims to improve medication adherence and contribute to better health outcomes for COPD patients.