Dance Pharmaceuticals, a San Francisco firm, is again betting on inhaled insulin. The company is founded by folks from Nektar that helped Pfizer bring the now failed Exubera to market, and is working on scavenging the good aspects of that product and improving others. It sounds like they’re making fundamental changes to the compounds used in the spray, moving to a liquid variety, and making the inhaler much smaller. Amy Tenderich from Diabetes Mine interviewed the John Patton, CEO and Samantha Miller, Chief Business Officer of Dance Pharma.
A couple questions from the interview:
DM) I know you’re working on a much-improved inhaler device, but how does the drug itself differ from Exubera?
Samantha Miller) A good way to think about what Dance is doing is reformatting the Exubera technology. We’re taking the Exubera formulation and just removing some of the additional chemicals they had included — some of the additives.
On the device side … our formulation is a liquid pulmonary device instead of dry powder pulmonary device.
Your website mentions aerosol technology. Sounds like this is going to be the ‘hairspray’ version of insulin?
SM) Aerosol is often used as another word for “inhalation” or “pulmonary.” So it’s a general tech word that could be misinterpreted. So we probably should use a different word…
John Patton) Actually, aerosol came about when a scientist’s little girl who had asthma — who was taking all these horrible oral steroids and things — said, ‘Daddy, why can’t you put my medicine in a spray like mommy’s hairspray?’ It originated back in the ‘50s. But we don’t like to be thought of that way at all. Ours is more of a gentle mist.