Alexza licenses Staccato nicotine delivery to Cypress Bioscience

With all the recent noise about whether so-called e-cigarettes should be regulated by the FDA as drug-delivery devices, it shouldn't be forgotten that there are companies that produce nicotine-delivery products aimed at smoking cessation. And these companies are willing to go through the required clinical trials. One of them is Mountain View, CA-based Alexza Pharmaceuticals, which recently announced that it is licensing its Staccato nicotine technology to Cypress Bioscience. 

"The Staccato system is a broad technology platform and Alexza has more Staccato-based product candidates than we can currently afford to develop on our own," says Alexza CEO Thomas King in a statement. "In early July, we outlined our strategy to advance Staccato-based product candidates into development through self-funding and through collaborations."

Cypress will pay Alexza $5 million upfront for the license. After the completion of certain preclinical and clinical milestones, Cypress will pay Alexza an additional $1 million. 

According to Alexza, Staccato nicotine is designed to help smokers quit by addressing both the chemical and behavioral components of nicotine addiction. It combines nicotine replacement through inhalation with a "user-friendly" drug delivery device, the company says. The company also claims that users could electronically reduce their overall daily dose of nicotine and ultimately quit smoking using the device. 

- read the Alexza release
- watch an animation of Staccato in action