While medical advances in the last 30 years mean that more than half of all people with cystic fibrosis (CF) can now expect to live beyond the age of 41, a cure remains elusive.
Furthermore, people with CF usually need to take a large quantity of different drugs daily if they are to maintain lung health and avoid potentially fatal infections.
One of the step-changes in CF treatment has been the introduction of inhaled mannitol (Bronchitol) which improves lung function. Delivered via a dry-powder inhaler, patients need to inhale ten separate 400mg capsules twice a day to achieve the therapeutic dose. While the benefits are great, this regime increases the already very lengthy amount of time that CF sufferers have to dedicate to taking their daily medication.
To make life easier for patients, Pharmaxis, the company that developed mannitol, commissioned PA to design and develop an inhaler that could deliver a full 400mg dose of mannitol with fewer inhalations and user actions.
Our team of experts created an inhaler that has been independently demonstrated to deliver mannitol and other drugs more efficiently than existing inhalers. The final design, Orbital, can deliver the full 400mg dose of mannitol in just five to six inhalations, without the need for the patient to load or reload a single capsule.
Pharmaxis and PA are now pursuing partnerships to develop the Orbital inhaler for CF and a wider range of lung conditions, including tuberculosis.
"This is a great step forward for the potential treatment of tuberculosis and a great use of this novel high payload device."
Phil Seeney, PA’s leader of the project to develop Orbital for Pharmaxis