September 28, 2019
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Pharmaceutical company develops inhaled endocrine therapies

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Aerami Therapeutics, formerly Dance Biopharm, announced this week it is rebranding and expanding its pipeline to include several inhaled endocrine therapies, according to a company press release.

The new name comes as the company pursues strategic partners for its lead asset, Dance 501 inhaled human insulin, to progress to pivotal registration studies, according to the release. The rebranding is designed to better reflect the company’s broadened focus beyond diabetes with additional chronic conditions that could potentially achieve better treatment efficiency from Aerami’s “smart inhaler.” In the release, Aerami said it plans to advance new pipeline programs in hypoparathyroidism and human growth hormone (HGH) deficiency, in addition to its existing inhalable GLP-1 receptor agonist candidate for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

“The new brand reflects our commitment to provide patients living with chronic diseases, a patient-friendly alternative to routine injections, with our gentle mist inhaler,” Anne Whitaker, CEO of Aerami Therapeutics, said in the release. “Our initial focus going forward is on rare and severe diseases in the endocrinology, respiratory and cardiovascular space. We have launched new pipeline programs in hypoparathyroidism and human growth hormone deficiency, which could benefit from the frequent pulsatile administration of inhaled parathyroid hormone and HGH, respectively, afforded by our smart inhaler.”

The announcement follows the success of other inhaled diabetes therapies. In July, the FDA approved the first nasal glucagon powder for the emergency treatment of severe hypoglycemia in children and adults with diabetes. Nasal glucagon (Baqsimi, Eli Lilly) delivers glucagon as a dry powder spray in a portable, single-use, ready-to-use device. The first inhaled insulin powder was approved in 2006, and an inhaled, ultra-rapid-acting mealtime insulin for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes was approved in 2014 (Afrezza, MannKind). In 2017, MannKind Coroporation and One Drop announced the launch of a collaborative study of inhaled insulin and an integrated diabetes management platform.

Whitaker said the company’s programs could enter clinical development in 2020, subject to additional funding. – by Regina Schaffer

Disclosure: Whitaker is CEO of Aerami Therapeutics.