Inhalation Sciences evaluating final data in profitable EU antibiotic resistance project FORMAMP
EU authorities have approved and released a final payment of 2 MSEK to ISAB for its four-year work on the FORMAMP project. The project has been profitable scientifically and commercially for ISAB, bringing in a total of over 5 MSEK over its duration and providing strong science proof-points in favour of PreciseInhale. These will be published in the coming 6-12 months.
In the future could TB patients inhale nanostructure formulations of anti-bacterial peptides to treat the disease? Over the last four years 16 EU research bodies have been exploring such possibilities in a project on new peptide treatments. Some peptides are natural born bacteria killers. And the unique way they attack bacteria makes it difficult for the bacteria to develop resistance to them. However, they are also delicate and prone to degrade. The FORMAMP project set out to develop new, robust nanostructures for administering peptides. Including inhaled nanostructure aerosols.
Final data evaluation in FORMAMP is now underway. Publications on the data are expected by the end of the year. Already, two new types of inhalable nano-structures that could potentially carry antibacterial peptide treatments into the lungs have been identified.
Two new contenders: amorphous silica and dendritic particles
ISAB CSO Per Gerde: “The first are amorphous silica particles. Inhaling silica may still sound shocking to many! Silicosis, from breathing in crystalline silica in industrial dust, still kills thousands every year. But this is amorphous silica. It’s in a solidified molten form, like minute, porous glass beads, with the peptide packed away into tiny holes. It isn’t toxic, and has a lower, but distinctive solubility, so it won’t build up in the lungs. Early indications are that some of these amorphous silica forms have the potential to become a useful excipient for new peptide treatments.”
The second new contender is dendritic particles. “These are a kind of branched polymer, where you can load a carrier substance (a peptide or small molecule) into the branches, and it will start to dissolve. Potentially this makes it possible to release the therapy dose over longer periods of time, increasing the duration of the treatment and programming the dose from one inhalation to another. Again, the potential is exciting.”
As final data come in, Per Gerde thinks new peptide therapies in an inhalable form that rule out antibacterial resistance, could be viable and valuable. “Inhalation technology does have an important role to play in peptide research and therapies. And we’re one of the few companies in the world who can deliver the quality of data needed here. We’ve been very pleased to contribute to this important cross-disciplinary project.”