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An aerosol type I had not heard of before, from a company called Ventaira:
Pulmonary Drug Delivery Using Mystic Technology
Ventaira’s pulmonary devices, which are based on electrohydrodynamic (EHD) aerosol delivery, enable efficient, safe and consistent delivery of drugs to and through the lungs.
Ventaira inhalation devices utilizing Mystic technology (EHD), deliver a low velocity, soft (isokinetic) cloud of uniformly sized particles with over 80 percent of the drug getting to the lungs. This is accomplished without the need for liquid propellants or other pressurized systems.
The aerosol mist is delivered using the patient’s own breath (inspiration), meaning that the patient can easily control the drug delivery. The delivery mechanism is especially suited for use with young children, seniors, and patients with impaired respiratory function.
Hypertonic saline treatment was inspired by some surfers in Australia who, like Devon, also have CF.
They told their doctors that what made them feel especially good was a day on the ocean waves.
Researchers down under and also at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill put the surfers’ tale to the test.
With backing from the U.S. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, they had a group of CF patients inhale 7 percent saline solution twice daily for a year while a control group inhaled normal saline.
Those receiving salty mist had improved lung function and, more importantly, fewer serious lung infections requiring hospitalization.
This is interesting. I had not heard that you could deliver insulin in a nebulized / aerosolized form. Intriguing. Pulmonary insulin delivery – which products will triumph?
The big companies currently pioneering pulmonary delivery of insulin are Pfizer, Eli Lilly/Alkermes and Novo Nordisk/Aradigm.Leading the pack is Exubera, which Pfizer now owns after buying the rights off Sanofi-Aventis for $1.3 bn this month.
Exubera is a fast-acting powdered insulin that is inhaled into the lungs before each meal, using a device the size of a torch. Both the formulation and device were developed by Nektar Therapeutics.
With a 2–3 year lead on other such products in clinical development, Exubera should make it to the market first, proving to be a sure-fire blockbuster for Pfizer.
In clinical trials Exubera was as effective as injected insulin, however, it has been shown to cause a short-term decrease in lung function and concerns over the long-term affect of inhaling insulin into the lungs has led to ongoing delays in US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the product.
In September 2005, an FDA Advisory Committee finally recommended approval of Exubera for the treatment of adults with type 1 (insulin-dependent) and Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin-dependent).
However, in October, the FDA extended its original review period of the drug by three months while it considers additional data submitted on its potential to decrease users’ lung capacity.
Update: LA Times Article on Exubera.