In the interview, Dr. Clarke describes the history of Pulmatrix, and explains why the company technology and pipeline offers “an obvious value proposition” for investors.
Trained as a biomedical engineer with a PhD in pulmonary physiology, Dr. Clarke has worked on inhaled drug delivery for about 20 years. His initial research led to an aerosol that, when inhaled, reduced the chances that a person would spread respiratory diseases to others. More important, it also had a therapeutic, anti-inflammatory effect.
Pulmatrix began to develop that aerosol to help treat chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD). But Dr. Clarke realized that a dry powder formulation would work even better. As a company with a high percentage of engineers, “we had the expertise to transfer from aerosol to dry powder,” he explains. “This novel technology we call iSPERSE allows us to deliver drugs more efficiently.”
The company now has an extensive pipeline of inhaled drug candidates that reveal the “real value” of Pulmatrix, Dr. Clarke says. The lead program is for COPD, “which affects tens of millions of patients, with an over $25 billion market,” Dr. Clarke explains. If an ongoing analysis of clinical data shows the expected results, it could trigger a licensing agreement with a major pharma partner, with a fast track to approval in Europe. “It can go very rapidly,” he says.
Next in the pipeline are inhaled drug candidates to fight lung infections and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Each one could be either developed with a partner or by Pulmatrix on its own. “The further we go ourselves, the greater the value proposition for Pulmatrix,” Dr. Clarke says in the interview.
In addition, the pipeline will continue to grow. “We are thinking about novel therapeutics we can enable with our technology,” Dr. Clarke says.
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