The collaboration will combine MicroDose's dry powder inhaler technology with 3M's inhalation product development, formulation development (particle engineering and powder handling), and manufacturing capabilities. As part of the deal, 3M has invested $5 million (€4m) in a minority equity position in MicroDose.
The MicroDose Dry Powder Inhaler (DPI) is a handheld, low-cost, breath-activated device that utilizes piezo electronics to deliver compounds, and is suitable for both small or large molecule therapeutics and for local and systemic applications. The device promises to be the first completely electronic DPI on the market.
The technology employs a device that converts electrical energy to a vibration that loosens powdered medicines into an aerosol that can be inhaled. When the inhaled powder meets the tissue of a patient's lungs it dissolves and is absorbed into the bloodstream. By controlling the vibration, the device can be used to administer a wide range of molecules.
MicroDose and 3M currently are seeking business alliances with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies interested in the pulmonary delivery of their molecules.