Philip Morris Acquires Inhaled Respiratory Drug Company

Philip Morris International Inc. announced its acquisition of OtiTopic, a U.S. respiratory drug development company with a late-stage inhalable acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) treatment for acute myocardial infarction. If approved, the treatment can address the significant unmet medical need of the over 83 million people, in the U.S. alone, at intermediate to high risk for myocardial infarction.

“The acquisition of OtiTopic is an exciting step in PMI’s Beyond Nicotine ambitions,” said Jacek Olczak, CEO, PMI. “We have world-class expertise in the research, development, and commercialization of aerosolization and inhalable devices to help speed the delivery of this exciting product to market.”

This acquisition is part of PMI’s strategic plan to leverage its expertise, scientific know-how, and capabilities in inhalation to grow a pipeline of inhaled therapeutics and respiratory drug delivery Beyond Nicotine. Following the completion of clinical trials and pending approvals by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), PMI can leverage its expertise and the capabilities of other companies in the Beyond Nicotine portfolio to bring ASPRIHALE® to market.

ASPRIHALE®a patented, dry powder inhalation of ASA delivered through a unique self-administered aerosolis expected to move from clinical trials to filing with FDA for approval in 2022. Early clinical trials have shown that the product system catalyzed peak plasma concentration and the desired pharmacodynamic effect, i.e., inhibition of platelet aggregation in two minutes compared with 20 minutes for coated chewable aspirin. This speed is unprecedented and has significant potential implications for improving the survival of patients at risk of heart attacks.

OtiTopic will complete its assessment program and filing with the FDA using FDA’s 505 (b)(2) pathway, a pathway designed for drugs already available on the market but requesting approval either for a new indication, dosage form or regimen, strength, combination with other products, or other unique traits. This pathway will allow PMI to build on existing data available for ASA reference products and focus on delivering the evidence that the inhalable form, ASPRIHALE®, outperforms the current standard of care—oral delivery—of ASA.

“In the United States alone, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds. With its inhalable version of acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), OtiTopic has developed an asset that promises to have a much faster onset of effect compared to oral ASA,” said Jorge Insuasty, chief life sciences officer, PMI. “With its acquisition of OtiTopic, PMI looks forward to completing the planned ASPRIHALE® registration program and bringing this important treatment to market to address a significant unmet medical need in a clinical condition where every second counts.”

“This transaction aligns well with OtiTopic’s goals of unlocking what we believe to be a significant opportunity in inhaled therapeutics science,” said Kambiz Yadidi, CEO, OtiTopic. “We are entering this transaction to accelerate ASPRIHALE®’s FDA filing, with the goal of delivering innovative therapies for people with intermediate to high risk for myocardial infarction.”

PMI’s Beyond Nicotine vision is part of a larger transformation that puts health, science, technology, and sustainability at the heart of PMI’s future, delivering products and solutions that aim to improve people’s lives and deliver a net positive impact on society. Building on the company’s investment and expertise in aerosol chemistry and physics, device technology, clinical research, and best-in-class preclinical safety and inhalation models, PMI is developing a pipeline focused on inhaled therapeutics for medical and wellness applications.

To date, PMI has invested more than $8 billion in building a world-class research and development capability, including pre-clinical systems toxicology and clinical capabilities, behavioral research, and post-market studies. The company has also met the strictest of regulatory requirements, including in the U.S., where the Food and Drug Administration authorized a version of our lead smoke-free tobacco product as a Modified Risk Tobacco Product in 2020.

OtiTopic was founded in 2012 as an innovative pharmaceutical start-up company and holds several key patents, differentiated intellectual property, and has confirmed a 505(b)2 pathway through constructive interactions with the FDA.

PMI expects the impact of the acquisition of OtiTopic on its full-year 2021 adjusted diluted EPS to be immaterial.

Source: Philip Morris

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