INV104 (zafirlukast) is a leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA) or anti leukotriene that works by blocking the action of leukotrienes, which are chemicals released by the body as part of the inflammation response. In the lungs, leukotrienes cause the muscles lining the airways to contract, thereby making the airways narrower. They also cause inflammation of the lining of the airways, which results in increased mucus production and further narrowing of the airway.
By blocking the actions of leukotrienes, zafirlukast prevents the increased mucus production, inflammation and narrowing of the airways that occurs in asthma – this helps prevent asthma attacks from occurring.
Zafirlukast is currently used as a regular oral treatment to prevent asthma attacks, rather than to treat them. The oral version of this drug is a first-in-class anti-leukotriene, which has shown in seven clinical trials an attractive safety and efficacy profile when delivered by inhalation at <1% of the oral dose.
Invion is developing zafirlukast as a novel non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory treatment for asthma.
In July 2015, Invion announced a commitment from Hovione, an international pharmaceutical company expert in inhalation development and manufacturing, to progress development of inhaled INV104 (zafirlukast) as a potential new treatment for asthma. The Company and Hovione will collaborate to develop the dry powder formulation of the compound INV104 (zafirlukast) delivered by Hovione’s inhaler. Under the terms of the agreement, Hovione will provide expertise on chemistry, particle engineering, formulation, device and GMP manufacturing to develop and manufacture Zafirlukast Dry Powder Inhaler (DPI), which will be delivered using its proprietary device. As consideration for Hovione’s licensing and supply of the finished drug product, Invion will pay an annual royalty to Hovione on total net sales of Zafirlukast DPI.