CSL taps HCmed to deliver immunoglobulins to the lungs

HCmed is providing breath-actuated mesh nebulizer AdheResp to the collaboration. (Robina Weermeijer/Unsplash)

CSL Behring has teamed up with HCmed to develop inhaled immunoglobulins. The collaborators are using HCmed’s AdheResp nebulizer platform to deliver plasma-derived immunoglobulins to the lungs of patients with respiratory conditions.

Immunoglobulin replacement therapy is already used to treat patients with certain forms of the lung condition bronchiectasis. Those patients receive intravenous or subcutaneous doses to correct for low levels of antibodies. In theory, inhaled administration could get more antibodies to target sites in the lungs, thereby improving the effects of the intervention.

CSL has partnered with HCmed to put the theory to the test. The collaborators are running a phase 1, placebo-controlled clinical trial that is testing a nebulized formulation of CSL’s plasma-derived immunoglobulins. The 64-subject trial is assessing single ascending doses in healthy volunteers and multiple ascending doses in patients with non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis.

“The vision is to provide a new highly-efficient treatment device for patients who suffer from chronic respiratory diseases and to improve their treatment adherence and quality of life,” HCmed CEO Jason Cheng said in a statement.

HCmed is providing AdheResp to the collaboration. The breath-actuated mesh nebulizer is designed to deliver biologics that are typically administered intravenously such as antibodies, peptides and proteins. CSL is making an upfront payment and committing to milestones to access the technology. HCmed is in line to receive royalties if the product comes to market. CSL is solely responsible for development and commercialization.

Other groups are also exploring the nebulized delivery of immunoglobulins. Last year, a physician at Skane University Hospital in Sweden published data on three people who received immunoglobulins via eFLOW nebulizers. The intervention was well tolerated and associated with reductions in the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections.