Pulmatrix, which develops inhaled therapies for lung diseases, has licensed the kinase inhibitor compounds that RespiVert has created to inhibit enzymes involved in inflammation.
“These new compounds will significantly expand what we believe is already an impressive pipeline of [Pulmatrix’s] drug candidates,” Dr. Robert Clarke, Pulmatrix’s CEO, said in a press release. Like RespiVert, Pulmatrix develops kinase inhibitors.
Pulmatrix will use its innovative iSPERSE system to deliver RespiVert compounds to patients with lung diseases such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), asthma, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
“Because these [RespiVert] compounds have already been explored in a Phase 1 program, we envision that we will be able to quickly move to clinical proof-of-concept studies” with them, Clarke added. RespiVert is a wholly owned subsidiary of Janssen Biotech.
Pulmatrix, based in Lexington, Massachusetts, focuses on inhaled therapies for pulmonary diseases. Its iSPERSE technology is a dry inhaled powder that delivers drugs directly to diseased lung tissue. The technology can be combined with kinase inhibitors and virtually any other class of drug, Pulmatrix said.
The kinase inhibitors that RespiVert has developed target molecular events that are the center of pulmonary disease development and progression.
“We believe these innovative compounds licensed from RespiVert Ltd. will offer a new approach for treating lung inflammation in diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF),” Clarke said. “They are also perfectly suited for formulation with our iSPERSE technology.”
Pulmatrix is already developing therapies for COPD and fungal infections. The licensing agreement adds to its pipeline.
One of Pulmatrix’s therapies is PUR1800, an iSPERSE-delivered kinase inhibitor already tested in a Phase 2a clinical trial. The therapy targets steroid-resistant inflammatory processes in COPD flare-ups.
Pulmatrix is conducting preclinical-trial studies of its kinase inhibitor PUR5700 for COPD, severe asthma, and IPF.
“Kinase inhibitors could be a very promising step forward for treating COPD and severe asthma,” said Professor Peter J. Barnes, head of respiratory medicine at Imperial College, London. “Coupled with the innovative iSPERSE technology to facilitate delivery to the site of disease within the lung, Pulmatrix is poised to improve the available therapeutic landscape for these patients in need.”
The agreement puts Pulmatrix in charge of the global commercialization of RespiVert’s kinase inhibitors.