Creating a low-cost, high-performance, sustainable DPI

Challenge

Despite the benefits of dry powder inhaler (DPI) delivery, current device technologies are limited by high formulation costs, complex device design and wasted dose delivery. Team Consulting was challenged to find a low-cost, sustainable DPI solution to tackle these issues.

Approach

We wanted to try and reduce the influence of the formulation as much as possible, so we kept it simple and focused on creating a solution that could be used with standard micronised active pharmaceutical ingredient (API), avoiding the need for formulation development. Working across mechanical engineering, aerosol science and testing, we developed a novel deagglomeration and aerosolisation engine, embodied in a sustainable DPI design concept.

Outcome

The Occoris® dry powder aerosolisation engine represents a new approach to DPI design, offering the potential for class-leading performance and simple usability, while remaining low-cost and sustainable.

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Occoris inhaler

A novel solution to DPI technology

Occoris® is an active, breath-actuated inhaler concept designed to deliver doses of pure micronised API through a novel aerosolisation engine. While removing the need for blended formulations or engineered particles, the technology consistently achieves a fine particle fraction in excess of 70%. The engine can be integrated into a variety of breath-actuated inhaler designs, with the potential to include more sustainable materials.

Occoris inhaler

The challenges of orally inhaled drug delivery

Despite the established benefits of DPIs as orally inhaled drug products, there remain a number of limitations with current DPI technology. Most DPIs are ‘passive’ devices and rely on the inspiratory effort of the user to deagglomerate powdered formulations and deliver drug to the lungs. The inherent variability in each user’s inspiratory manoeuvres means most DPIs deposit a large proportion of the drug in the user’s mouth and throat where it is not needed.

Smoke plume gif

Developing an aerosolisation engine

To rapidly establish the technical feasibility of the Occoris® concept, our mechanical engineers and testing experts developed benchtop test rigs to optimise the primary container concept and deagglomeration engine. The Occoris® concept embodies a novel primary container and proprietary external energy source to efficiently deliver a dose of pure API.

Man using inhaler

Innovative drug delivery primary container

The Occoris® design features a bespoke foil blister-based primary container, which ensures excellent moisture protection up to the point of use, avoiding the need for further moisture control measures.

Much of the innovative design of the Occoris® concept is in the drug primary container, which meant we could keep the device element very simple. This unique combination of elegance and simplicity in a highly effective, active DPI means this technology has the potential to be realised as a platform product, covering single-dose disposable, reusable, and multi-dose formats.

Jamie Greenwood, Managing Consultant, Team Consulting

Sustainable device design

The simple device design means that alternative materials could be used for the device element, with the potential to use far less plastic than traditional DPIs. This, alongside the novel primary container which would be constructed from aluminium foil laminates, means Occoris® has the potential to offer compelling sustainability credentials.

A new opportunity for inhaled dry powder delivery

The Occoris® device is a truly visionary inhaler concept with industry-leading drug delivery performance and the potential to support a true platform technology, while preserving all the benefits of DPIs. This novel solution is uniquely positioned to disrupt the pulmonary drug delivery space by opening up new therapy areas and reducing the formulation burden.

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