A new inhaler technology has been developed and demonstrated by Team Consulting. The consultancy claims it could enable the future use of self-administered inhaled drugs for immunisation, as well as pain relief, diabetes and other conditions.
The consultancy says the technology, which has been incorporated into the Occoris product, would be particularly suited to emergency vaccination programmes in natural disaster areas where healthcare workers struggle to keep vaccines refrigerated.
It says usability issues of other types of inhaler have been overcome as the energy contained within the Occoris ensures the drug can be aerolised correctly and consistently.
Once fully developed and approved Team Consulting says that the Occoris concept could be manufactured for less than 15p per unit.
Team Consulting says, ‘Occoris could open up these new potential therapies as it dramatically increases the efficiency of drug delivery to the lungs compared to typical dry powder inhalers available today, and does so at such a low cost that a single-dose inhaler could become economically viable.’
A feasibility project to test and develop Occoris has so far been part-funded by the UK’s Technology Strategy Board.
Data presented in this report shows how laboratory tests have revealed that Occoris allows the active drug emitted from the device to reach the ‘deep lung’ with far less deposited in the mouth and throat where Team Consulting says ‘there are often unwanted side effects and no therapeutic benefit.’
It finds that where existing inhalers can deliver 20-40 per cent of the drug into the lungs, Occoris could deliver over 70 per cent.
While inhalers are commonly used to treat asthma, COPD and cystic fibrosis, Team Consulting says that due to performance limitations, there are many therapeutic areas that they cannot be used for.
‘This is unfortunate since dry powder drugs are inherently more stable than liquid formulations and inhaled delivery avoids many of the logistical challenges, anxieties and risks associated with using a needle and syringe,’ says Team Consulting.