News Feature | April 9, 2014

USPTO Grants Patent To Hovione Inhaler

By Estel Grace Masangkay

Hovione announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted its patent application for a capsule-based, low-cost dry powder inhaler (DPI) for pulmonary diseases. The decision came after three years and just one Office Action.

The Hovione inhaler XCaps was designed to have only two operating components for manufacturing cost savings and ease of use for patients. The inhaler is intended for the treatment of most pulmonary diseases including asthma, COPD, and infections which usually require very large doses. XCaps is highly suitable for inhalation applications where patients have minimal training, as it requires only two steps before inhalation.

Peter Villax, vice-president and co-inventor of Hovione inhaler, said, “We give our customers an edge in speed of development because we are perhaps the only independent company developing DPIs with expertise in every aspect of the inhaled drug development process. This patent grant in the US within 30 months of initial filing, underpins Hovione’s capabilities in innovation and intellectual property management, to successfully design, develop and deliver innovative products.”

A previous Hovione DPI called TwinCaps was also developed for the delivery of the anti-viral drug laninamivir for the treatment of influenza. TwinCaps was recently approved in Japan and is now marketed by Daiichi Sankyo as a component of its Inavir product.

Gonçalo Andrade, business development manager, said, “The XCaps addresses a gap for a simple, easy to use, cost effective, multiple use, capsule-based inhalation device. This allows our business partners to take advantage of additional patent protection for their inhalation drug product and effective drug product life cycle management.”

The company is presently conducting inhaled drug development projects with partner pharmaceutical companies involving API process development, particle engineering, formulation and clinical supplies. Hovione also announced that is seeking partners willing to incorporate its inhalers in their inhalation drug development.