Respira Therapeutics, a local start-up formed in 2010 to commercialize a new dry powder inhaler device and therapies that deliver more than twice the amount of drug to the lung than current inhaler technologies, announced it has licensed its drug RT234 for dry-powder inhalers to pharma company United Therapeutics. United with work with Respira to develop the drug to treat pulmonary hypertension. Respira’s dry-powder inhaler device is based on technology developed at the University of New Mexico by former College of Pharmacy faculty member Dr. Hugh Smyth and Dr. Charles Truman from UNM’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. To read more, see Respira’s press release, reprinted below.
Respira Therapeutics Announces Collaboration with United Therapeutics to Treat Pulmonary Hypertension
Respira Therapeutics, Inc. is developing inhaled prescription pharmaceutical products employing its breakthrough high efficiency, AOS™ dry powder inhaler (DPI) technology to deliver drugs to treat pulmonary and other diseases.
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., April 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Respira Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled therapies to treat pulmonary hypertension and other pulmonary diseases, has entered into a strategic collaboration with United Therapeutics Corporation for the development and exclusive license of Respira’s inhaled drug-device product, RT234™, for pulmonary hypertension indications in North America.
Under the terms of the strategic collaboration, United Therapeutics will provide Respira with non-dilutive development funding to advance RT234 through FDA approval. In addition, United Therapeutics will be the lead investor in Respira’s Series B preferred stock financing. Respira’s current investors, Cottonwood Technology Fund and Sun Mountain Capital, are also participating. Additional terms of the strategic collaboration were not disclosed. Respira will continue to advance the development of its other pipeline programs and will retain full control of its R&D programs outside of pulmonary hypertension.
“Respira is very excited to be working with United Therapeutics, arguably the leading pulmonary hypertension pharmaceutical company in the world. We share a common commitment to develop disruptive therapeutic approaches that can translate into disease-altering medicines for patients with pulmonary hypertension and other diseases,” said Bob Curtis, President and CEO of Respira. “This important investment and strategic collaboration will allow our company to capitalize on the innovative research pipeline we have developed. We share United Therapeutics’ aims and values, and we could not be more pleased to have them as a collaborator in our efforts.”
“We are very pleased to extend our leadership in pulmonary hypertension by collaborating with Respira on inhaled RT234,” said Martine Rothblatt, Ph.D., United Therapeutics’ Chairman and CEO. “We believe that Respira’s novel technology will enable us to continue providing more oral and inhaled medicines to more pulmonary hypertension patients in the USA than any other company.”
“As founding investor of Respira, it is gratifying to see the progress made by the Respira team.” said David Blivin, Managing Partner of Cottonwood Technology Funds. “This is a great first step toward demonstrating the broad application of Respira’s AOS™ dry powder inhaler technology.”
About Respira Therapeutics, Inc.
Respira Therapeutics, Inc., based in Albuquerque, NM, has developed a “best in class” Axially Oscillating Sphere (AOS™) dry powder inhaler (DPI) drug delivery device for delivery of inhaled drugs for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension and other important diseases with unmet clinical need. Based on successful progress of its AOS platform, which can target 1.4 – 2.5 times more drug to the lung than commercially available DPI technologies, Respira has also developed an inhaled formulation of a drug, to treat various forms of pulmonary hypertension, a serious, progressively debilitating pulmonary vascular disease. Respira plans to commence FDA preclinical testing in 2017 and an initial clinical program in 2018. Respira is also investigating applications of its AOS-DPI to “technology brand” off patent drugs to treat other serious pulmonary and systemic diseases. Respira was founded in 2010 by David Blivin, Managing Partner of NM based Cottonwood Technology Fund. Additional investment has also been provided to date by NM based Sun Mountain Capital and private individuals.
Statements included in this press release that are not historical in nature are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the safe harbor contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements include, among others, United Therapeutics’ and Respira Therapeutics’ expectations regarding the impact and success of the strategic partnership between United Therapeutics and Respira, the ability of this collaboration to result in approved and marketed therapies and Respira’s continued development of its other pipeline programs. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, such as those described in United Therapeutics’ periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, that could cause actual results to differ materially from anticipated results. Consequently, such forward-looking statements are qualified by the cautionary statements, cautionary language and risk factors set forth in United Therapeutics’ periodic reports and documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. United Therapeutics claims the protection of the safe harbor contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 for forward-looking statements. This information is provided as of April 12, 2017, and neither United Therapeutics nor Respira Therapeutics assumes any obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason.
Press Contact: Respira Therapeutics: Bob Curtis, President and CEO, 505-200-9556