MicroDose proving itself to military as inhaled nerve-agent treatment

Drug delivery specialists MicroDose Therapeutx, based in Monmouth Junction, NJ, produces a device called the MicroDose DPI (dry powder inhaler), which uses piezoelectronics to deliver inhaled drugs. The company announced today that its partners at the University of Pittsburgh have been busy proving that its technology can be used in development of an atropine inhaler to treat nerve agent poisoning targeted for military and civil defense applications. Pitt is working with the U.S. Department of Defense Chemical Biological Medical Systems Joint Project Management Office on the studies.

"While intramuscular injection of atropine is a recognized treatment for acute poisoning, the inhaled route offers a non-invasive alternative by delivering atropine directly to the lungs where local complications present, which may be more convenient when repeated dosings are required," said MicroDose's Robert O. Cook in a statement.

Tim Corcoran, a Pitt professor who is principal investigator on the project, said in a release that the inhaled delivery method has the advantage of treating the lungs locally "as well as a means of delivering drugs systemically to the bloodstream. The inhaler could provide substantial and consistent systemic dosing rapidly after administration."

Followup trials are planned.

- here's the release