Opko Health Acquires Medical Device Specialist Inspiro

Opko said it plans to use Inspiro's devices to test the inhaled form of the company’s new sulfated disaccharide drug against respiratory diseases.

Biopharmaceutical and diagnostics company Opko Health announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Inspiro Medical, an Israeli medical device company.

Inspiro is developing a new platform to deliver small molecule drugs such as corticosteroids and beta agonists or larger molecules to treat respiratory diseases.

The company’s Inspiromatic device is a "smart" dry powder inhaler that Inspiro claims offers several advantages over existing devices.

The dry powder inhaler is an active dry powder inhaler (DPI) that delivers drugs at extremely low inhalation flow rates, instructs the patient in real time and enables physician follow-up to improve medication delivery and compliance.

The device has an internal microcontroller and flow sensor that controls the delivery of the medication and, using micro-pump technology, dispenses the drug particles at the right speed without the need for forceful inhalation.

It also provides instant feedback to the patient with a green or red flasher light to indicate proper inhalation and a beeper after the dose has been delivered.

For physicians, Inspiromatic provides a built-in logger that stores patient use data for access and transmission by electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets.

"We are extremely proud of Inspiro's success in bringing our smart Inspiromatic respiratory drug-delivery device to market. With Inspiro now a part of Opko, we will be able to help more people faster,” Nimrod Kaufmann, CEO and co-founder of Inspiro, said in a statement. "Inspiro joining Opko is a big win for the shareholders of both Inspiro and Opko, as well as good news for our patients and physicians."

Opko said it plans to use the Inspiromatic device to test the inhaled form of the company’s new sulfated disaccharide drug against respiratory diseases and other disorders.

The drug product is still undergoing pre-clinical testing prior to submission of an investigational new drug (IND), but the company said animal data indicates safety and efficacy for both inhaled and orally delivered forms.

"The acquisition of Inspiro is our third exit in eight months, all to U.S.-based multinational corporations. This success brings continuing confirmation of the strength of the Trendlines team in fulfilling our vision of creating and developing companies to improve the human condition," Eran Feldhay, CEO of Trendlines Medical, Inspiro's largest shareholder, said in a statement. "We are very pleased to see OPKO take the Inspiro opportunity forward."

In a recently completed, First In Man double-blinded clinical study conducted in 30 asthmatic children comparing Inspiromatic to a market leading dry powder inhaler, Inspiromatic demonstrated better pulmonary delivery of the active drug.

"We are pleased to add this next generation inhaler to Opko’s growing product portfolio," Phillip Frost, Opko’s CEO and chairman, said in a statement. "We expect this innovative device to play a valuable role in the improvement of therapy for asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis and other respiratory diseases."