Food & Flavour

Vectura and Inspira Pharmaceuticals Sign Agreement to Develop Potential Inhaled Treatment for COVID-19

Vectura Group plc, an industry leading inhalation CDMO, and Inspira Pharmaceuticals Limited, a new UK-based company focused on developing therapies for respiratory and infectious diseases, today announced an agreement to develop an inhaled formulation of Inspira’s lead drug candidate for the potential treatment of COVID-19. 

Inspira’s research focuses on proprietary IPX formulations, which are based on processed and purified extracts from a plant source. These extracts contain proteolytic enzymes that have been shown to rapidly inactivate the SARS-CoV-2 virus in vitro. The IPX technology platform has additional potential applications in other lung infections and treatment of biofilms associated with respiratory disease.

To date, Vectura has undertaken a feasibility study on Inspira’s inhaled IPX formulation candidates with positive results. The new agreement announced today will see the company perform further testing and development work, to prepare initially for Phase 1 clinical studies using its FOX® vibrating mesh nebuliser to deliver the IPX formulations directly to the lungs.

Rory McGoldrick, CEO of Inspira, commented: “We are delighted to have partnered with Vectura, a company with a strong track record in the successful development of pharmaceuticals for respiratory indications. Leveraging Vectura’s expertise and network, Inspira is well placed to accelerate the development of our novel IPX formulations for pulmonary delivery. As we move from pandemic to endemic COVID-19, it will be ever more important to have new treatments that are cost effective, easy to distribute and easy to administer. We are targeting a treatment that has the potential to be effective at the early phase of infection, to minimise the risk of hospitalisation and reduce the need for ventilatory support in intensive care. We hope that our human clinical trials of IPX formulations will prove as successful as our initial laboratory studies.”

Mark Bridgewater, Vectura’s Chief Commercial Officer, commented: “The work we have carried out to date for Inspira demonstrates the potential to develop a highly-effective treatment for COVID-19, and our initial studies show that Vectura’s FOX® nebuliser platform offers an extremely efficient delivery method. We are excited to continue supporting Inspira on this lead programme, combining our expertise in formulation and device development with this innovative research.”

The further testing and development work will be undertaken at Vectura’s Chippenham, UK facility, which is home to advanced pharmaceutical development laboratories, manufacturing suites and offices, where the company’s differentiated technology and skills are used to develop customers’ inhaled products, from high quality generics to novel therapies.