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As Pharma Deals Progress, Propeller Health Sharpens Its Strategy

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sensors would be built into the insides of devices, rather than snapped on via an attachment.

“There are benefits across the board with an integrated device, ranging from manufacturing costs, supply chain considerations, as well as commercial implications,” Slavinsky says.

The device Propeller and Aptar are co-developing is a metered-dose inhaler, which differs from other types like soft mist (BI’s Respimat) or dry powder (GSK’s Ellipta). Slavinsky says that metered-dose inhalers can typically be used with many different medications, whereas other varieties tend to be developed for use with a specific drug. Efforts to create an integrated soft mist or dry powder inhaler are therefore less likely to involve a materials-focused collaborator like Aptar, he says, because BI, GSK, and other large pharma companies not only have experience in developing medications for patients with respiratory diseases, but also in engineering hardware to encase these drugs.

So even if the Aptar-Propeller deal produces a top-selling device of the future, it seems that other types of integrated inhalers are more likely to result from partnerships like the ones the startup has forged with BI and GSK.

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