Particle-engineered respiratory therapies

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Asthma is a significant health burden, with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating 235 million people have the disease worldwide.  The US alone has 25 million asthmatics, and asthma was responsible for more than $50 billion of medical costs in 2007.  Currently approved asthma treatments include medications that relieve airway constriction, such as long-acting beta agonists (LABAs), and those that control underlying inflammation, such as inhaled corticosteroids.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a life-threatening lung condition that affects large numbers of people.  WHO estimates 65 million people have moderate-to-severe COPD, and the disease was responsible for more than 3 million deaths in 2012.  By 2030, COPD is predicted to become the third leading cause of death.  Currently approved treatments include bronchodilators, such as LABAs and long-acting muscarinic antagonists (LAMAs), as well as inhaled corticosteroids.

Inhaled medicines

Many treatments for respiratory diseases, particularly those for asthma and COPD, are administered via inhalation.  Delivering these medicines is highly complex and the active pharmaceutical ingredients’ (APIs) physicochemical and aerodynamic properties, such as size, morphology, surface energy, inter-particulate forces and 3D geometry, are fundamental to their performance.

API particle engineering

Circassia’s platform of proprietary particle-engineering technologies and formulation processes provides sophisticated control of API properties.  Our novel approach is based on the use of focused radial ultrasound, which is delivered in a proprietary reactor system.  This ‘sonocrystallization’ technology enables the consistent production of high purity particles of a defined shape and size.

Our approach is radically different to conventional manufacture, where large particles are crushed via jet milling into small particles. In contrast, our sonocrystallization technology offers the potential to address formulation, stability, dose variability and delivery issues associated with jet-milled respiratory medicines.

Our focus

Circassia’s particle-engineering technologies have broad applicability.  This enables the development of products that are directly substitutable for currently approved asthma and COPD medicines, as well as novel formulations.

Additionally, our technologies enable the production of APIs specifically suited to different types of respiratory delivery devices.  As a result, our product candidates can be delivered via simple-to-use pressurized meter dose inhalers and dry powder inhalers.