Respinova has developed a novel non-invasive technology that aims to address the core of the COPD pathophysiology – small airway collapse.
Respinova's solution uses unique pulses of air pressure generated by a proprietary device called Pulsehaler™. The small airways have no cartilage structural support and are totally dependent on the tethering forces of the surrounding lung. When these forces are diminished, the small airways collapse and do not permit airflow to the gas-exchanging alveolar zone of the lung. When COPD starts, airways initially reopen on inspiration. Once the disease progresses, the airways open only on deep inspiration, and finally not at all. When the small airways collapse, not only is gas exchange is impaired, but also the cilia clearing mechanism fails, and secretions accumulate to further worsen the situation.
The small airways have little or no smooth muscle in their walls so that drugs cannot open them up, even if the particles manage to be delivered to the small airways.
Pulsehaler™ generates proprietary pressure pulses that travel into the lung which propagate faster inside the airways than in the surrounding lung tissue, thereby creating multiple momentary dilating forces that help gently pry open the collapsed airways. Pulsehaler™ also generates positive pressure on exhalation, which helps keep airways open. The pulses also help in smoothing and spreading the mucus lining layer on the airways walls, which assists in airway clearance and reduces the tendency of airways to re-close.
Drugs administered by inhalation are often required to reach the farthest parts of the bronchial tree, where they act or are absorbed. With many aerosol delivery systems, a suboptimal dose reaches the periphery of the lung, with the remaining drug depositing in the device, mouth, pharynx, large bronchi, or swallowed into the stomach.
Efforts to improve the lung deposition pattern of inhaled drugs focus primarily on controlling particles size and breathing pattern. Respinova is developing a proprietary approach designed for improving drug deposition pattern by modifying the characteristics of the airstream through which particles travel to reach their intended target using our patented pulsation technology, and by ensuring the airways are open during delivery.
This functional delivery is of utmost importance in COPD lungs due to collapse of airways, result of lost tethering forces and mucosal secretions. Development of this exciting technology is ongoing. See here for our clinical proof of concept study.