Vectura Group plc, an industry leading inhalation CDMO, and Inspira Pharmaceuticals Limited, a new UK-based company focused on developing therapies for respiratory and infectious diseases, today announced an agreement to develop an inhaled formulation of Inspira’s lead drug candidate for the treatment of COVID-19.
Inspira’s research focuses on proprietary IPX formulations, which are based on processed and purified extracts from a plant source. These extracts contain proteolytic enzymes that have been shown to rapidly inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 virus in vitro. The IPX technology platform has additional potential applications in other lung infections and treatment of biofilms associated with respiratory disease.
To date, Vectura has undertaken a feasibility study on Inspira’s inhaled IPX formulation candidates with positive results. This new agreement will see the company perform further testing and development work, to prepare initially for Phase 1 clinical studies using its FOX® vibrating mesh nebuliser to deliver the IPX formulations directly to the lungs.
Rory McGoldrick, CEO of Inspira, commented: “We are delighted to have partnered with Vectura, a company with a strong track record in the successful development of pharmaceuticals for respiratory indications. Leveraging Vectura’s expertise and network, Inspira is well placed to accelerate the development of our novel IPX formulations for pulmonary delivery. As we move from pandemic to endemic COVID-19 it will be ever more important to have new treatments that are cost effective, easy to distribute and easy to administer. We are targeting a treatment that has the potential to be effective at the early phase of infection, to minimise the risk of hospitalization and reduce the need for ventilatory support in intensive care. We hope that our human clinical trials of IPX formulations will prove as successful as our initial laboratory studies.”
Mark Bridgewater, Vectura Chief Commercial Officer commented: “The work carried out by Inspira demonstrates the potential to develop a highly-effective treatment for COVID-19, and our initial studies show that our FOX nebuliser offers an extremely efficient delivery method. We are excited to continue supporting Inspira on this lead programme’s development towards the clinic, combining our expertise of formulation and device development with Inspira’s innovative research to add to the treatments available to manage this global pandemic disease.”
All studies will be undertaken at Vectura’s Chippenham, UK facility, which is home to advanced pharmaceutical development laboratories, manufacturing suites and offices where the company’s differentiated technology and skills are used to develop customers’ inhaled products, from high quality generics to novel therapies.