SYDNEY: Clinical stage drug developer Pharmaxis (ASX: PXS) announced that Aptar Pharma, a global leader in drug delivery systems, services and active material science solutions, has exercised the option to acquire the worldwide rights to Pharmaxis’ proprietary inhaler Orbital, a unique device designed to deliver high payload dry powder to the lungs.
The exclusive option agreement was announced on August 17, 2021 and gave Aptar 12 months to evaluate the Orbital technology.
Aptar Pharma will pay Pharmaxis US$2.5m to exercise the option to the Orbital technology and has also immediately exercised its subsequent right to outright acquire the technology by payment of a further US$2.5m. Pharmaxis retains the rights to devices containing Orbital intellectual property used to deliver inhaled mannitol.
The Orbital technology allows powder payloads of up to 400mg or more to be inhaled by patients in divided doses without the need to reload. This unique platform was originally developed as a life cycle extending product for the Pharmaxis cystic fibrosis drug Bronchitol®(mannitol). However, it also meets an increasing global need to deliver high doses of other drugs, such as antibiotics, to the lungs.
Pharmaxis CEO Gary Phillips said, “I am delighted that Aptar Pharma, who are one of the world’s foremost drug delivery device companies, have seen the potential in the Orbital technology. We look forward to them building on the technical evaluations carried out during the option period and delivering new product solutions that can benefit drug developers and patients. Today’s announcement is a further example of the capability of the Pharmaxis team and is part of our strategy to generate non‐dilutive cash from the mannitol respiratory business.”
Howard Burnett, Vice President Global Pulmonary Category, Aptar Pharma, said, “With this acquisition, Aptar Pharma is pleased to be building on our current expertise for the treatment of chronic conditions. Being recognized as a global leader in respiratory drug delivery devices and associated services, we now have a wider offering to our customers.”
Pharmaxis is an established Australian clinical stage drug development company with expertise developing drugs for inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. The company has a highly productive drug discovery engine, drug candidates in clinical trials for myelofibrosis and skin scarring. The Pharmaxis headquarters at Frenchs Forest in Sydney houses high tech science labs and drug manufacturing facilities from which respiratory products Bronchitol® and Aridol® are exported.