Hovione XCaps inhaler granted USPTO patent


Dry powder inhaler has only two operating components

A drawing of the XCaps dry powder inhaler

A drawing of the XCaps dry powder inhaler

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has granted a patent for a capsule-based, low-cost dry powder inhaler (DPI) to Portuguese firm Hovione, less than three years after the patent was filed and after just one Office Action.

The XCaps inhaler has only two operating components, making it easy to use and reducing costs. In terms of delivery performance, lung fractions in excess of 70% have been achieved, which makes the inhaler suitable for applications where minimal training of patients is desirable. It has the versatility to treat most pulmonary diseases, including asthma, COPD, as well as infection, which typically requires very large doses.

XCaps follows on the heels of another successful Hovione DPI, TwinCaps, which was developed for the delivery of the anti-viral drug, laninamivir, to treat influenza and is now approved in Japan and marketed by licensee Daiichi-Sankyo as part of its Inavir product. Hovione inhalers are offered for licensing, together with formulation and particle engineering services on a fee for service basis. The company has also developed a line of inhalation-grade APIs, including fluticasone, salmeterol, mometasone and tiotropium.

Peter Villax, Hovione's Vice-President and co-inventor of the device, said: 'This patent grant in the US within 30 months of initial filing underpins Hovione’s capabilities in innovation and intellectual property management, to successfully design, develop and deliver innovative products.'

'The XCaps addresses a gap for a simple, easy to use, cost effective, multiple use, capsule based inhalation device,' added Gonçalo Andrade, Business Development Manager at Hovione.

'This allows our business partners to take advantage of additional patent protection for their inhalation drug product and effective drug product life cycle management.'

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Hovione is currently involved in inhaled drug development projects for five pharmaceutical companies, including API process development, particle engineering, formulation and clinical supplies.