Inhaler delivers more drug to the deep lung, says Cambridge Consultants

By Alexandria Pešić

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Asthma

Cambridge Consultants and Sun Pharma have developed a dry powder inhaler that administers a metered dose of the drug to the deep lung, regardless of the strength of the patient’s intake of breath.

The firm claims the inhaler’s specially developed airway design and breath activation mechanism is a “step change in inhaler technology”​ and ensures more of the drug formulation is aerosolised into particle sizes that can successfully reach the deep lung.

Phil Lever, commercial director at Cambridge Consultants, told in-PharmaTechnologist that Sun Pharma’s airborne drug delivery device is capable of delivering two times more of a dose to the lung than a standard inhaler, so “to achieve the same level of lung deposition, only half the drug is required.

“Many inhaler devices on the market achieve only relatively low levels of lung deposition even when correctly used,” ​said Lever who attributes drug losses to build-up in the upper airway.

Some asthma therapies are known to be less effective at delivering the drug to the deep lung as “The particles emitted from the device are of the wrong size to reach the lung,”​ he said, claiming only 20 per cent of the pre-loaded drug emitted from a conventional inhaler device ever reaches the lung.

Reduced dosage dumping

The result of ineffective drug delivery is dosage dumping in the inhaler device, or more commonly, in the patient’s mouth and throat, causing unpleasant side-effects such as Corticosteroids which can lead to oral thrush, explained Lever.

Aside from the device’s drug delivery function, Cambridge Consultants said the inhaler’s distinctive design features ensure it is easy and comfortable for the patient to hold and use.

Glow in the dark casing allows the inhaler to be found easily in the event of an asthma attack, while a dose counter and a braille indicator reminds visually impaired patients that they are nearing the end of their prescription.

The device was commissioned and designed to be used by Sun Pharmaceuticals for its products, and will initially be launched in India, where Sun Pharma is based, at the start of 2011, said Cambridge Consultants.

According to the UK-based firm, cases of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are both on the rise with the global market for therapeutics treating the illnesses in the order of $27bn and rising by 10 per cent every year.

“The market for new inhaler device and formulation technologies is large and growing,”​ said Lever, revealing that Cambridge Consultants plans to continue working on future projects with Sun Pharma, yet would not disclose further details.

Related topics: Drug Delivery, Delivery technologies

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