This article was originally published in Start Up
Protectimmun GMBH aims to leverage findings of a large epidemiological study showing that people exposed early in life to farms have reduced tendency to develop respiratory and other allergies. The German start-up thinks a component of barn dust can help train the human immune system so that it never perceives ordinary environmental substances as allergens.
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Drawing on a proprietary porous particle technology to create stable inhalable suspensions, Pearl Therapeutics Inc. has developed a metered-dose inhaler format able to deliver combination products across therapeutics and product types. The company's lead chronic obstructive pulmonary disease MDI candidate combines a long-acting muscarinic antagonist plus a long acting beta-2 agonist. A mid-stage clinical trial demonstrated significant benefits versus blockbuster, market-leading active comparators in patients with moderate-to-very severe COPD.
Existing treatments for airway and lung disorders, including allergies, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, provide widely effective symptom relief. New products in development aim to halt progression and even reverse the disorders. We profile three emerging respiratory drug developers in this issue: Pearl Therapeutics, Protectimmun and Pulmatrix.
Originally intent on developing a contagion-prevention product for biodefense, Pulmatrix Inc. now has much larger ambitions. The company believes its new technologies for formulating drugs as dry powders and delivering them via inhalers will make its lead respiratory drug candidate more convenient and potent. Pulmatrix also sees the methods as a discovery engine likely to give rise to partnerships and branded generics.