Vectura partners with Monash University on inhaled oxytocin

The inhalation formula will be used instead of the current injection method

Vectura Group has signed an agreement with Monash University’s Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS), to develop inhaled oxytocin delivered via a dry powder inhaler to prevent postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) in childbirth.

An inhaled formulation of oxytocin, currently administered via injection, is projeted to provide advantages including ease of use, rapid onset of action and safe storage outside of the cold chain. Vectura will receive undisclosed revenues on a fee-for-service basis.

Vectura will work with MIPS to optimise the product and advance to commercialisation. It will also support the development of a single use device/formulation combination for evaluation in Phase I, and then expedite technical transfer to a commercial manufacturer to advance to Phase III and commercial launch.

Will Downie, CEO of Vectura, said: “Reformulation of oxytocin to an inhaled dry powder has many advantages for this drug and application. It will be easy to administer for patients, and, being inhaled, will have a rapid onset of action. Working with Monash University and its partners, we look forward to providing Vectura’s deep expertise in this space to address this important global health issue, potentially preventing thousands of deaths each year.”

Professor Michelle McIntosh, Project Lead at MIPS, said: “Post-partum haemorrhage is a significant and challenging global health issue so we are very excited to be working with Vectura on a low cost, heat stable and non-invasive approach to deliver oxytocin, overcoming existing limitations of current injection products.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that oxytocin is administered to every woman after birth to prevent PPH, and currently the only option for administration is injection. The WHO suggests that there are approximately 60,000 deaths each year due to PPH, with more than 99% of these occurring in the poorest and hottest countries in the world, where injections are impracticable due to a lack of cold chain distribution, and safe, sterile environments, as well as trained clinicians to administer the drug.

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