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Hovione Announces Filing of Patent for New Powder Inhaler

XCaps fills a void in the pulmonary inhalation market, as a device which combines high efficiency in powder dispersion with ease of use. Lung fractions in excess of 70% have been achieved, from a device which only requires two steps to inhalation and which only has two components plus a dust cover. This makes XCaps highly suited for inhalation applications where minimal training of patients is desirable and has the versatility to treat almost all pulmonary diseases, including asthma, COPD and infection.

XCaps follows on the heels of another successful Hovione DPI, TwinCaps®, which was developed specifically for an influenza application and is licensed to Daiichi Sankyo and Biota for this application. Daiichi Sankyo launched Inavir® in the Japanese market in October 2010 and monthly sales in Japan of this TwinCaps®-delivered neuraminidase inhibitor since then have surpassed those of Roche’s Tamiflu® (1, 2).

Hovione is offering XCaps in optional conjunction with its drug product development program, allowing potential licensees to take their candidate drugs from the API stage all the way to the unit dose, under one roof. "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", said Peter Villax, Vice-President and co-inventor of the device.

Phil Nelson, Business Development Manager, said "Hovione has wide-ranging expertise in the field of inhalation products. With our core API process development and manufacturing expertise, we can manufacture pharmaceutical ingredients where the final crystallization step produces pulmonary delivery-friendly particles. Alternatively, we can use other particle formulation technologies, such as spray-drying and we are currently pioneering new particle technologies for stable, large dose delivery." Hovione is currently executing inhaled drug development projects for 5 pharmaceutical companies, involving API process development, particle engineering, formulation and clinical supplies.