OptiNose aims high with nasal drug delivery device

Yardley-PA based OptiNose is hoping to use its nasal-spray device to revolutionize the way existing drugs are delivered, boosting efficacy, lowering dosages and potentially replacing vaccines all together.

The company's device (photo)--which comes in both single and multi-use versions for liquid and powder formulations--features a mouth spout and a nose-piece. The user blows into the mouth spout, which automatically closes off the nasal cavities from other parts of the body. This concentrates the medicine in the nasal passages rather than allowing it to travel to the stomach, throat and lungs, unlike traditional nasal spray devices.

"We have a device that takes good drugs and enables them to be delivered into the body in a way that makes them not just a little better, but substantially better," CEO Peter Miller says, as quoted by the Philadelphia Inquirer. "This has the potential to disrupt and transform the way pharmaceuticals are developed and commercialized."

Investors are taking notice. In June, Avista Capital Partners plunked down a hefty $48.9 million to fund further development of the system. The company has recently completed Phase II clinical studies with rhinosinusitis and migraine therapies. The 14-person firm recently moved to the U.S. from Norway. They hope to gain FDA approval for the delivery system in the next three to four years, and Miller believes Optinose will someday become a specialty pharma company with up to 1,000 employees.

- read the Philadelphia Inquirer story