Kinase inhibitors act by blocking kinases, a group of proteins that play a role in inflammatory processes. Pulmatrix, whose main focus is respiratory diseases, has developed kinase inhibitors of its own.
“We believe these innovative compounds licensed from RespiVert Ltd. will offer a new approach for treating lung inflammation in diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF),” Dr. Robert Clarke, Pulmatrix’s CEO, said in a news release. “They are also perfectly suited for formulation with our iSPERSE technology.”
Pulmatrix’s proprietary iSPERSE technology delivers therapies as a dry, inhaled powder that gets to the lungs easily. The platform uses an innovative particle engineering technology in which drugs are attached to tiny particles that can be delivered to lung tissue with great efficiency. The approach allows researchers to maximize the concentration of a therapy delivered to the lungs, and to reduce side effects.
ISPERSE technology is compatible with a range of inhalers and a variety of drugs, Pulmatrix said. They include small molecules like RespiVert’s kinase inhibitors, which reduce lung inflammation and consequent damage.
“Kinase inhibitors could be a very promising step forward for treating COPD and severe asthma,” said Dr. Peter J. Barnes, head of respiratory medicine at Imperial College, London. “Coupled with the innovative iSPERSE technology to facilitate delivery to the site of disease within the lung, Pulmatrix is poised to improve the available therapeutic landscape for these patients in need.”
Pulmatrix has already developed inhaled drug treatments for COPD (PUR0200) and fungal infections associated with certain lung diseases (PUR1900).
“These new compounds [from RespiVert] will significantly expand what we believe is already an impressive [Pulmatrix] pipeline of drug candidates,” Clarke said. “Because these compounds have already been explored in a Phase I program, we envision that we will be able to quickly move to clinical [trial] proof-of-concept studies.”
Under the agreement, Pulmatrix is responsible for the development and commercialization of kinase inhibitors in two fields, respiratory diseases and cancer.