Currently asthma is highly uncontrolled and its prevalence is increasing globally. Patient numbers with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) are also increasing worldwide. This is placing a huge and growing burden on healthcare systems worldwide, including the UK’s NHS.
What is particularly sad is that young people in the UK are more likely to die from asthma than those in other wealthy countries, and as “Prevention is at the heart of the NHS Long Term Plan…” improving the devices that young asthma sufferers rely upon for their treatment will go a long way to support this.
The metered dose inhaler (pMDI) is currently the mainstay of asthma and COPD management worldwide, with approximately 940 million units produced each year. Its design has barely changed over the 60+ years that it has been available, and it is notoriously difficult to use correctly, with over 90% of users unable to accomplish the correct technique.
Additionally, there is mounting environmental pressure to reduce the prevalence of pMDIs, due to their use of HFA (hydrofluoroalkane) propellants that directly contribute to global warming.
CHI will solve these issues by creating a reusable clinical device that incorporates its αeolus technology. The main advantages for any company who undertakes a clinical study using devices incorporating the αeolus technology are
- the dose delivered to the lungs will be much more consistent across the patient group, and therefore the chance of success is substantially higher
- if the study is successful, the core αeolus technology is transferable to different inhaler embodiments – e.g. a multi-unit dose inhaler for the routine treatment of asthma and COPD. This is a step change in the field of inhalers, as it will only require minimal in vitro bridging studies to confirm that the performance of the inhaler product is identical to the version tested in the clinic. There is no inhaler technology available currently that has ever achieved this.
CHI’s aim is to develop the αeolus technology to a level that is suitable for clinical evaluation, then license it to multiple companies for the delivery of respiratory medicine. CHI will partner with a global manufacturing company, but there will be no limit to the number of pharmaceutical companies who can license the technology.
CHI is in the process of demonstrating the αeolus technology in vitro and will present a White Paper summarising the performance capability at the Drug Delivery to the Lungs conference in December 2019. The next step is to develop a clinical prototype device that incorporates the αeolus technology so that prospective customers can evaluate its performance in clinical studies. This will be our focus through 2020.
CHI has also developed a pMDI add-on device (“q-technology”) that addresses two of the major issues of using pMDIs:
- patients inhale too quickly
- patients are not able to successfully coordinate actuating the device with their inhalation.
The q-technology has been patented and has received interest from several companies who specialise in pMDIs and / or their components. It is the aim of CHI to develop this technology into a clinical prototype in time for clinical studies of new, more environmentally friendly propellants, such as HFA152a.
αeolus dry powder inhaler
- User simply inhales to receive dose
- Low cost (~30 cents)
- Inherently breath-actuated
- Load blister & inhale
- Low cost (~40 cents)
- Device replaced monthly
- Up to 60 unit blister doses
- Cost ~$1.5
- SMART / connected adds ~$1