One of the most serious, debilitating symptoms of cystic fibrosis is a heavy, persistent cough caused by a sticky, hard to move mucous that can give rise to life-threatening infections. In order to help mitigate this primary symptom of the disease, Invion and 3M Drug Delivery Systems are teaming up to help cystic fibrosis patients breathe easier through the development of novel inhaled therapeutics. Invion currently produces two drugs, INV102 and INV104, which are being assessed for feasibility of inhalation using 3M’s pressurized metered dose inhalation (pMDI) technology. The benefit of inhaling these drugs is that the medicine would be directly targeted to where patients need it the most–the lungs–to allow for smaller doses and fewer side effects.
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Invion is repurposing INV102 (nadolol), a beta blocker, from its current application in high blood pressure and migraine to an application in inflammatory airway diseases including cystic fibrosis, COPD, and asthma. As a side, Invion is conducting two clinical trials on an oral form of nadolol: one is for smoking cessation in patients with chronic bronchitis, and the other is sponsored by the NIH for mild asthma. The current application of INV104 (zafirlukast), a leukotriene receptor antagonist, is for asthma, and the oral version is sold as a generic by Astra Zeneca as Accolate. However, Invion has the exclusive global license for all inhaled versions of zafirlukast.
“Invion’s products are especially suitable for combination with existing respiratory drugs because of their unique anti-inflammatory profiles,” said Dr. Greg Collier, Invion’s CEO and managing director. “Presuming we can demonstrate safety and efficacy with this delivery system, it will make both INV102 and INV104 even more attractive propositions.” Safety and efficacy will first be demonstrated through toxicology and phase I studies covered by the agreement between Invion and 3M. The two companies intend to develop both treatments through to commercialization.