Impel NeuroPharma Announces Commercial and Scientific Milestones in Bypassing the Blood-Brain Barrier

SEATTLE, Oct 20, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Impel NeuroPharma today announced a set of important milestones that accelerate its progress in enabling small molecules and biologics to bypass the blood-brain barrier.

The key milestones announced today are:

1. Funded collaborations with two top-10 pharmaceutical companies to pursue applications of the Pressurized Olfactory Delivery (POD) device, and

2. Closing of over $500,000 of equity investment from angel investors experienced in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

Today's announced milestones support Impel technology's ability to enable CNS molecules that were previously unable to cross the blood-brain barrier to become useful therapeutics and improve product profiles of CNS drugs by improving efficacy and reducing side effects in a practical and convenient dosage form.

These milestones build upon Impel's other recent accomplishments as it moves rapidly toward scaling and commercialization of its POD device technology.

John Hoekman, PhD, Impel's Chief Scientific Officer, will present three posters on the application of the POD technology at the annual meeting of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists in Washington, D.C. on October 26. The posters will discuss the enhanced delivery of PET imaging tracers, anti-viral drugs, and biodefense agents to the CNS.

Dr. Hoekman is serving as Principal Investigator for a Phase 2 Small Business Investigational Research (SBIR) received earlier in the year from the Department of Defense. Dr. Hoekman and Dr. Rodney Ho from the University of Washington (UW) School of Pharmacy, co-inventors of the POD technology, recently published experimental results in the September issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia.

Impel's technology was awarded a commercialization grant from the Life Science Discovery Fund (LSDF) in February 2011 to investigate the use of the POD device with analgesic drugs. The final selection of the principal investigator, Gregory W. Terman, MD/PhD, from the UW School of Medicine, was made in September. Impel was previously awarded a $500,000 SBIR grant from the National Institute of Mental Health for the development of a potential treatment for AIDS-related dementia and has collaborated with University of Washington researchers on breakthrough neuroimaging PET studies, which will be featured in a podium presentation by Dr. Donna Cross, PhD, at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America on Nov. 29 in Chicago, IL.

John Hoekman, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, stated, "We are carefully expanding the body of evidence demonstrating the POD technology's ability to bypass the blood-brain barrier enabling delivery via the nose-to-brain pathway. We now have data that has been generated from studies across a broad range of applications that allow us to best select the most promising future projects to continue to expand our value to the patients served by the pharmaceutical industry."

Michael Hite, CEO, added, "The scientific progress that has been made is being validated by investor and collaborator support to allow us to now aggressively commercialize our technology over multiple high value applications. We are actively pursuing additional collaborations where Impel's Pressurized Olfactory Device can provide the greatest impact to improved patient outcomes."

About Impel NeuroPharma:

Impel NeuroPharma Inc. is a medical device company developing a novel drug delivery device that enables drugs to bypass the blood-brain barrier (BBB) using direct nose-to-brain delivery.

Impel's proprietary Pressurized Olfactory Delivery device technology enables entirely new categories of drugs, including biologics, to be delivered to the CNS using a cost-effective, disposable, non-invasive intranasal drug delivery device.

About the Pressurized Olfactory Delivery Technology:

Impel's Pressurized Olfactory Delivery (POD) device delivers aerosolized drugs to the upper nasal cavity where they are directly transported into the brain, effectively bypassing the blood-brain barrier. The POD device enables molecules to become therapeutics that were previously unable to cross the blood-brain barrier, and often allows less drug volume to be utilized, lowering plasma exposure and reducing systemic side effects. The POD device is compatible with liquid and powder formulations of both small molecule and biologic drugs.

SOURCE: Impel NeuroPharma

Impel NeuroPharma
Michael Hite, CEO, 206-697-5817
[email protected]