3M to develop inhaled airway inflammation treatments with Delaware's Invion

3M Drug Delivery Systems' metered dose inhalation tech--Courtesy of 3M

3M Drug Delivery Systems has joined forces with the Delaware outfit Invion to develop inhaled drugs for inflammatory airway diseases.

Using 3M's pressurized metered dose inhalation technology, the two companies have agreed to take on toxicology and Phase I studies of the delivery of Invion's INV102 nadolol beta blocker as well as its INV104 zafirlukast leukotriene receptor antagonist. For the latter in particular, it would be the drug's first inhaled delivery.

For nadolol, which is approved to treat high blood pressure, migraine and chest pain, the new inhaled version would offer a treatment for conditions such as asthma, COPD and cystic fibrosis, according to the company. Invion, which also has offices in Australia, is also performing two clinical trials to help patients stop smoking, currently in Phase II.

And although zafirlukast is sold by AstraZeneca ($AZN) as Accolate in its oral version to treat asthma, Invion retains exclusive global rights to the inhaled form, according to a report from Australian Life Scientist. As a receptor agonist, it blocks the action of leukotrienes in the lungs, which cause the muscles in the airway lining to contract. Currently, according to Invion, the drug is used as an oral treatment to prevent asthma attacks as opposed to treating them.

"Invion's products are especially suitable for combination with existing respiratory drugs because of their unique anti-inflammatory profiles," Invion CEO Greg Collier said in a statement. "Presuming we can demonstrate safety and efficacy with this delivery system, it will make both INV102 and INV104 even more attractive propositions."

- here's the report from Australian Life Scientist