Aquilon Pharma takes part to and coordinates a technology innovation consortium for the AERONEXT project.

aeronext supported by BioWin and Wallonie

Aquilon Pharma takes part to and coordinates a technology innovation consortium for the AERONEXT project aiming at “Developing an improved and innovative inhaled therapies through the combination of an innovative drug formulation technology with an innovative pulmonary delivery device”.

Aquilon Pharma initiated the AERONEXT project (duration: 63 months), launched in January 2020 and awarded a €3,2 million collaborative research grant from Belgium’s Walloon region government in coordination with the Region’s Health Competitiveness cluster BioWin.

For this AERONEXT project, to share their know-how, Aquilon Pharma, as project coordinator, jointed his expertise in formulation technology with several Wallonia-based partners:

  • Simonis group specialized in polymer processing,
  • Laboratory of Biology of Tumors and Development from Université de Liège (ULiège-LBTD) specialized in non-clinical pharmacology studies in rodents for the development of anti-asthma and anti-inflammatory drugs administered by inhalation.
  • The accredited research center, CER group which has an extensive expertise in animal studies in a variety of species for the pharmaceutical industry.

AERONEXT project partners form a world-class consortium with huge expertise in the fields of pneumology, product formulation, non-clinical pharmacology, polymer processing. The consortium’s objectives are to improve the effectiveness of inhaled therapies by increasing and better target the pulmonary deposition of active molecules, budesonide (corticosteroid) and formoterol (bronchodilator).

The AERONEXT project has multiple objectives:

For Aquilon Pharmaceuticals:

  • Development of effective inhalation therapies combining an innovative formulation technology (based on cyclodextrin and corticosteroid complexation) and a new generation, high-performance dry powder inhaler (DPI) for the treatment of asthma and COPD, both leading to higher and targeted lung deposition of active molecules.
  • Development of a platform that can be adapted to products other than corticosteroids.

For Simonis group:

  • Development of an extensive know-how in polymer processing (from product design up to small or large production runs)
  • Production tooling for the plastic parts required for the dry powder inhaler.

For ULiege-LBTD:

  • Set up various mouse models of asthma and COPD.
  • Development of a unique and highly innovative powder inhalation technology using the PreciseInhale® (Inhalation Sciences, Sweden) so that rodents receive in a harmless and reproducible manner aerosolized powders.

For CER Group:

  • Implementation of a preclinical inhalation platform in pigs, used as a risk reduction tool in drug development before embarking on complex and costly GLP toxicology studies. Because of their physiological similarities to humans, pigs are becoming increasingly attractive toxicological and pharmacological models.
Liège université
CER Groupe