Nostrum, VCU sign license agreement to develop inhaled dapsone for respiratory diseases

Virginia Commonwealth University and Nostrum Pharmaceuticals, LLC, are pleased to announce the signing of a license agreement for the development of inhaled dapsone for the treatment of respiratory diseases.

The license gives Nostrum exclusive rights to a patent application disclosing inhaled dapsone invented by Bruce K. Rubin, M.D., the Jessie Ball DuPont Distinguished Professor and chair of Pediatrics at the VCU Medical Center and physician-in-chief of the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

Dapsone is an antibiotic used to treat leprosy, Pneumocystis pneumonia and malaria. It also is used as a skin cream to treat severe chronic skin inflammation. It is not a steroid and does not have the side effects associated with steroids.

Rubin's team showed that dapsone affected an important inflammatory pathway common to lung diseases such as asthma, cystic fibrosis (CF), bronchiectasis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). This was confirmed when his team demonstrated that inhalation of an aerosol of dapsone rapidly and safely cleared lung inflammation in laboratory experiments.

These results were published last year in the prestigious medical journal Chest.

"We are very pleased to support VCU by licensing this exciting new drug. This product will complement our other inhaled therapeutics in development," said Nirmal Mulye, Ph.D., president of Nostrum.

Michael T. Amato, vice president of Nostrum, added, "We are developing a broad range of respiratory treatments, including developing unique aerosol delivery devices, so this drug has the potential to be a strong addition to our portfolio."

The agreement calls for Nostrum to manufacture the product, perform the clinical development and file the drug applications with the Food and Drug Administration. Nostrum will pay VCU milestone payments and royalties on sales worldwide.


Virginia Commonwealth University


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