Savara Pharmaceuticals, based in Austin, Texas, has just collected $1.4 million from 23 investors, according to the Austin Business Journal. The company can add that to the $1.9 million it received in June from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund. The investors are opening up their billfolds for nanoscale powders to take the place of propellants.
One problem associated with using the lung for drug delivery is an inability to efficiently deliver the right amount of drugs to the right place. Traditional dry powder aerosols are slow to release drugs or dissolve.
Savara takes existing therapeutics and, essentially, “nanosizes” them and delivers them via oral pulmonary or nasal routes using off-the-shelf dry powder inhalers under the brand name NanoCluster. The company says its nanoparticle technology represents an attractive approach for formulating poorly water soluble pulmonary medicines.
Ordinarily, nanoparticle suspensions used in nebulizers or metered dose inhalers often glom together. It’s a problem, in general, with nanoscale technologies. So, Savara has controlled that tendency and created a nanoparticle agglomerates that “possess the microstructure desired for lung deposition and the nanostructure to facilitate rapid dissolution of poorly water soluble drugs,” according to the company.
The result could be drug delivery systems to locally treat cystic fibrosis, asthma or even lung cancer, the company says.