GSK and Propeller prepare to launch digital inhaler


GlaxoSmithKline and Propeller Health's partnership to develop digital solutions for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) is expanding into a commercialisation deal.

Having begun working together in December 2015, the partners are now ready to bring to market their custom digital sensor for GSK’s asthma and COPD inhaler, Ellipta.

The sensor attaches to the top of the Ellipta inhaler and automatically records when patients use their device.

The data it gathers is then sent to a smartphone app for both the user and their doctor, giving insights as to what may be causing symptoms associated with their conditions.

The sensor-Ellipta combination was approved by the FDA and received CE marking in Europe last year.

The companies will now prepare to launch the device combination in the US and Europe, although they haven't yet named a likely launch date for either market.

[caption id="attachment_31276" align="alignnone" width="180"]Propeller's David van Sickle Propeller's David van Sickle[/caption]

"We are excited to be working closely with GSK to make the sensor for the Ellipta inhaler available in our commercial programmes, and for the first time, as part of commercial pilots with GSK outside the US," said Propeller CEO David Van Sickle. "Companion digital experiences simplify and personalise the management of chronic respiratory disease, and help ensure individuals and their physicians realise the benefits of inhaled medicines."

GSK will be hoping the device will help it maintain its market share in the respiratory field.  Sales of its asthma and COPD medication Advair are declining, and payers are demanding more from its next generation treatments Breo and Anoro Ellipta.

“Digital innovations, like sensor technologies, will help us ensure patients receive the best possible package of care management and treatment for their respiratory condition,” said Eric Dube, senior vice president and head of global respiratory franchise at GSK. “We are excited to expand our collaboration with Propeller as a further step in our journey towards achieving connected health systems for people with asthma and COPD.”

For Propeller, the partnership expansion follows a quiet 2017 for the company so far. Its last business was back in February when it entered into a collaboration with Novartis to develop a custom sensor for the pharma’s Breezhaler devices.

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Marco Ricci

1 September, 2017