The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued two new patents requested by Pulmatrix – one for the expansion of its iSPERSE drug delivery technology and one for the expansion of protections for PUR0200, the company’s investigative candidate for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
iSPERSE technology delivers drugs directly to the lungs via a dry powder that flows easily through the airways and is capable of delivering a wide range of different types of drugs. The technology could increase the efficiency of drug delivery significantly and reduce side effects that are frequently found with other delivery systems.
iSPERSE has already received intellectual property protection. However, the new patent (US 9744130) makes the technology even more versatile. While the previous patent provided protection for the use of two “excipients” – typically inert ingredients like salts that enhance the drug’s utility – the new patent adds protection for two more of these excipients.
“This patent doubles the choices that we have, extending the reach of our technology,” Robert W. Clarke, PhD, the CEO of Pulmatrix, said in a press release.
The second new patent expands protections for PUR0200, Pulmatrix’s drug candidate that combines the active component of Spiriva (tiotropium bromide) with the company’s iSPERSE drug delivery platform. PUR0200 was already protected by certain key patents, but the new patent (US 9737518) broadens the intellectual property protection in a way that frees the drug from requiring specific characteristics and performance criteria.
“The new PUR0200 patent will make it more difficult for potential competitors to develop similar products or to work around our product candidate,” Clarke said. “The new claims also will make it possible for us to add in a second therapeutic to create a combination product.”
In a recently announced partnership with the Vectura Group, Pulmatrix is currently developing PUR0200 in the United States, following regulatory pathways that offer faster approvals and lower costs. The drug is also being developed in Europe and is expected to be available in both markets.
Vectura is a company that specializes in inhaled airway products. Under the terms of the agreement, Vectura will be responsible for all future development costs to advance PUR0200 in the U.S.
“Vectura has deep experience with inhaled drugs and innovative dry powder delivery technologies, which make them an optimal partner to advance PUR0200 as a better product for COPD patients,” Clarke said in a press release at the time of the announcement.