JEFFERSON, N.C., Dec. 15 Inhalers used for deliveringalbuterol, a fast-acting bronchial dilator, currently use propellants such asozone-depleting CFC's, which are banned by the FDA beginning December 31st,2009, or replacement HFA's. Both propellants are also used as industrialrefrigerants and eject the medicine, albuterol, at near-supersonic speeds.
The Next Safety device supplies medication in a stream of air by ejectingthe medication from a microfluidic pump automatically as the patient breathes,solving three problems:
(1) Propellants are eliminated. Patients are no longer required to inhalerefrigerants.
(2) The medicine is not ejected at high speeds, where it is deposited onthe back of the throat and ingested. This is such a concern that certainmanufacturers of the new HFA-based albuterol inhalers recommend that patients"rinse and spit" after each treatment.
(3) Patients do not need to time their inhalation to match the push of abutton. This is particularly important when administering albuterol tochildren where the parent is pressing a button hoping the child will breath atthe same time. Therefore, parents can never be certain of dosing, which is onereason why 25% of all emergency room visits in the US are related to asthma.
The other method used to dose albuterol is the nebulizer, a largecompressor-driven device that essentially sprays droplets of albuterol while achild breathes from a mist for a 20 - 30 minute period. This treatment,invented in 1975, is cumbersome and often not available to an asthmatic when afast-acting dose of albuterol is needed.
Phillip Weaver, the President of Next Safety and an inventor of thetechnology, explains: "The device uses a silicon microfluidic pump to ejectdroplets of an off-the-shelf FDA-approved solution of albuterol sulfate inwater that are a predetermined size into an air stream created by a miniatureblower to deliver the droplets at the same speed of the patient's inhalationand in the correct size range for bronchial delivery."
According to Dr. Tom Stearn, a pulmonologist and consultant for NextSafety, "The platform offers the ability to deliver not only albuterol in air,but also other medications for treating asthma, such as fluticasone propionateand salmeterol xinofoate, the components of Advair." Certain chemical patentsfor Advair expired in August 2008.
The device also provides an electronic output to PDA's so that, in thefuture, doctors can monitor the results of specific doses of medications inaddition to patient compliance.
Advanced designs of the platform use measurements of exhaled nitric oxide(NO) together with peak respiratory flow, which when combined are a predictorof an asthma attack, to automatically adjust doses and provide alarms tophysicians and parents.
George Colvard, COO Next Safety, [email protected]
Philip Weaver, President Next Safety, [email protected]
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SOURCE Next Safety, Inc.