New COPD Inhaler Therapy Is Goal of Qualcomm-Novartis Growing Partnership

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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COPD Foundation

Qualcomm Incorporated recently announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Life, Inc., and Novartis are expanding their global partnership to advance a next generation inhaler to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Under the terms of the collaboration, Qualcomm Life is developing the reference design for the small and disposable module to power the next generation Breezhaler™, part of Novartis’ portfolio of COPD therapies. The module developed by Qualcomm Life connects with the company’s 2net™ Platform, and is intended to detect and report inhaler usage and the duration of a patient’s inhalation, providing an indication of inhalation quality and adherence to the treatment.

“This is an exciting time for health care as we see the proliferation of the Internet of Medical Things,” said Rick Valencia, senior vice president and general manager at Qualcomm Life, Inc., in a press release. “Through our expanded collaboration with Novartis, we are able to deliver a frictionless digital health experience to their COPD patients.”

Novartis’ goal in the collaboration is to be the first to offer a fully integrated, connected delivery system, enabling COPD patients to more easily manage their condition. The system does not need to be assembled by patients and captures near-real time data.

Other COPD therapies in Novartis’ portfolio are the Ultibro Breezhaler (indacaterol/glycopyrronium bromide), Seebri Breezhaler (glycopyrronium bromide), and Onbrez Breezhaler/Arcapta Neohaler (indacaterol).

The company expects to launch the new Breezhaler in 2019 after manufacturing, assessment, and regulatory approvals.

Qualcomm Incorporated specializes in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies.

COPD affects an estimated 210 million people worldwide and is the third leading cause of death. It is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. Symptoms include breathing difficulty, cough, sputum production, and wheezing. It can be caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, most often from cigarette smoke. People with COPD are at increased risk of developing heart disease and lung cancer, among other conditions.