USPTO grants patent for low-cost dry powder inhaler to Hovione

Hovione announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted a patent for a capsule-based, low-cost dry powder inhaler (DPI) to Hovione. This happened less than three years after the patent was filed and after just one Office Action - unusual speed for an inhaler application.

Hovione have designed this inhaler to have just two operating components, thereby achieving significant cost savings and giving the patient unprecedented ease of use. In use, the patient just needs two steps before inhaling. In terms of delivery performance, lung fractions in excess of 70% have been achieved. This makes this inhaler highly suited for inhalation applications where minimal training of patients is desirable and has the versatility to treat most pulmonary diseases, including asthma, COPD as well as infection, which typically requires very large doses.

XCaps follows on the heels of another successful Hovione DPI, TwinCaps®, which was developed for the delivery of the anti-viral drug, laninamivir, to treat influenza and is now approved in Japan and marketed by licensee Daiichi-Sankyo as part of their Inavir® product. Hovione inhalers are offered for licensing, together with formulation and particle engineering services on a fee for service basis. The company has also developed a line of inhalation-grade APIs, including fluticasone, salmeterol, mometasone and tiotropium.

Peter Villax, Vice-President and co-inventor of the device, said "We give our customers an edge in speed of development because we are perhaps the only independent company developing DPIs with expertise in every aspect of the inhaled drug development process. This patent grant in the US within 30 months of initial filing, underpins Hovione's capabilities in innovation and intellectual property management, to successfully design, develop and deliver innovative products."

"The XCaps addresses a gap for a simple, easy to use, cost effective, multiple use, capsule based inhalation device. This allows our business partners to take advantage of additional patent protection for their inhalation drug product and effective drug product life cycle management" said Gonçalo Andrade, Business Development Manager.

Hovione is currently executing inhaled drug development projects for 5 pharmaceutical companies, involving API process development, particle engineering, formulation and clinical supplies and is looking for partners willing to incorporate Hovione inhalers into their inhalation drug product development.       

Source: Hovione


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