Beyond-the-Needle Initiative of Nano PharmaSolutions for Fighting COVID-19
As of August 7, 2021, >200 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported and more than 4.2 million lost their lives to this virus. Remdesivir administered by IV infusion (Veklury®) has been authorized for emergency use in adult and pediatric patients hospitalized with severe to moderate cases of COVID virus. However, it’s been reported that the efficacy of Veklury® suffers from the low bioavailability of the drug to the lungs and drug’s instability in water. The developer of Veklury® (Gilead Sciences) is currently performing clinical trials of nebulizer form of Veklury® for treatment of COVID virus. However, it degrades via hydrolysis in an aqueous solution, so chemical stability is a concern for using Veklury® for nebulization. Furthermore, nebulization often relies on the skilled care and the home setting nebulization still is not a portable form as it requires medical grade water and electric outlet for a cumbersome nebulizer.
Dry powder inhalation (DPIs) has been used frequently in recent years to treat several pulmonary and systemic diseases and found to be superior compared to other delivery approaches to deep lungs. Superiority can be attributed to the solid form of the active substance that provides enhanced stability, the ease of the use, and the portability of the medicine. Moreover, other risks such as fragmentation, decomposition, and microbiological contamination of the dose, are less as compared with that in liquid inhalation formulations of a drug in nebulizer or metered dosing device.
Nano PharmaSolutions is developing remedesivir as dry powder for inhalation (DPI) formulation to make it available for everyone at early stage of infection. Advantages of DPI over IV or nebulizer delivery of remdesivir for COVID therapy are 1) drug delivery directly to the primary site of infection; 2) improved drug stability during storage and treatment; 3) short/easier administration; 4) portability of therapy to remote areas and third world countries. Our NanoTransformer™ technology can coat optimal size of drug (0.5-1.5 micron) directly to a dry carrier without using any chemicals or solvents which is then encapsulated for the DPI delivery. There is no additives or excipients like cyclodextrin used in Veklury®; only the pure drug is being delivered to the lungs.
Delivering remdesivir directly to the primary site of viral infection would provide accessibility of needed therapy to non-hospitalized patients and it can potentially lower the dose strength of the drug due to improved bioavailability of the therapeutic to the site of infection. Furthermore, this portable form of remdesivir does not require cold chain or needle administration so the inequality of drug accessibility to remote areas or third world countries would be addressed.
Reformulating remdesivir from the IV infusion form to a portable DPI product is just one aspect of Nano PharmaSolutions’ Beyond-the-Needles initiative. We plan to use our NanoTransformer™ technology to reformulate many strategic medicines such as lung cancer chemotherapies into “drug only DPI formulation” in order to improve the patient outcome and comfort during the difficult disease management.