Capsugel to manufacture inhaled particle candidates developed by Pulmatrix

Morristown, NJ's Capsugel announced it will manufacture inhaled candidates being developed by Pulmatrix ($PULM).

The Lexington, MA-based company's lead, Phase II candidate is for COPD. Along with Pulmatrix's preclinical programs to treat cystic fibrosis and idiopathic fibrosis, the generic med utilizes the so-called iSPERSE drug delivery platform. The company says in a release that the "dry powder technology is a small, dense and dispersible engineered particle technology that enables pulmonary delivery of drugs with high delivery efficiency, dose reproducibility and flow-rate independence."

Apparently, the particle-based approach leads to more efficient drug delivery and dosing for patients than conventional lactose blending dry powder inhaler and metered dose inhaler technologies. Manufacturing will be enabled by spray-drying technologies at Capsugel's facility in Bend, OR. Last year the company completed a two-year, $25 million expansion of the facility.

"This strategic partnership with Pulmatrix puts our companies at the forefront of bringing unique inhalation products to the market to deliver better patient outcomes," said Dan Dobry, the head of alliance strategy at Bend Research, a division of Capsugel Dosage Form Solutions. "We look forward to working with Pulmatrix to help advance its pipeline of proprietary and partnered products utilizing our spray dry technology and infrastructure, and to jointly explore opportunities to collaborate with the broader pharmaceutical industry to develop next-generation inhalation therapies."

The deal comes on the heels of a duo of Capsugel acquisitions. In December the company announced the acquisition of Xcelience, a specialized contract development and manufacturing organization based in Tampa, FL, to add specialized development and commercial manufacturing capabilities, including microdosing, multiparticulates, capsule-filling and tableting. It also announced the purchase of Powdersize, a Quakertown, PA-based contract manufacturer with expertise in particle size reduction.

Pulmatrix went public in June via a reverse merger with upstart Ruthigen. Ex-U.S. rights to the COPD candidate were sold to Mylan ($MYL) for an undisclosed sum.

Meanwhile, Big Pharma GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK) in October entered into an inhaled particle partnership of its own, securing the rights to develop inhaled therapeutics using particle engineering technology developed by University of North Carolina spin off Liquidia.

- read the release