COPENHAGEN, Denmark and MILTON KEYNES, England, April 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Bang & Olufsen Medicom, an innovative drug delivery device solutions provider and Bespak plc, a leader in specialty medical devices and inhalation valve technologies, jointly announced today that the two companies have entered into an exclusive partnership to co-develop and co-market a single increment dose counting inhaler - The Assist Actuated Inhaler(TM). This will be the first integrated dose-counting device to feature an assisted firing mechanism; making it easier for patients to use.
The partnership has been formed to develop a next generation "press and breathe" inhaler which will be aimed at the expanding Asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) market. Bang & Olufsen's intellectual property from the design and development side will be enhanced by Bespak's in-depth understanding of valve tolerances and the precise fire points for their valve technologies, essential to the development of any reliable dose-counting mechanism. The two companies will share responsibility for the development, manufacture and co-promotion of the device.
Welcoming the news from Bang & Olufsen Medicom, Chief Executive Officer Henrik Kagenow said, "We are excited it will be the first patient compliance device on the market with a dose counter that meets FDA requirements. We are delighted to work with Bespak, who are recognised leaders in the field of inhalation valves and bring a wealth of inhaler manufacturing expertise to the partnership."
Meanwhile Mark Throdahl, Chief Executive Officer of Bespak said "Bang & Olufsen Medicom has a strong design based heritage and an insight into patient compliance. In particular, we think their dose-counting mechanism will bring a lot of value to the collaboration. Together, our joint forces enable us to bring the device to the market in high volumes within strict quality and design guidelines."
The functionality of the device has been thoroughly validated and is ready for incorporation into a metered dose inhaler programme immediately. Bespak and Bang & Olufsen Medicom are currently seeking alliances with Pharmaceutical companies interested in providing new inhaler solutions for patients.
Notes to Editors:
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Asthma and COPD
The pMDI (pressurised Metered Dose Inhalers) market is believed to have a worldwide volume of 400 million units.
Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the airways that is marked by continuous laboured breathing accompanied by wheezing, breathlessness, a sense of constriction in the chest and coughing or gasping attacks.
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is often, though not always, caused by smoking. COPD is a pulmonary disease that is characterized by chronic, typically irreversible airway obstruction resulting in a slowed rate of exhalation. The airflow limitation is associated with an abnormal inflammatory response of the lungs to noxious particles or gases.
Patient compliance rates in Asthma and COPD are estimated to be in the region of 50%, significant contributors to patient non compliance are said to be both forgetfulness and the lack of visibility on dose tracking.
FDA: Federal Drug Administration
About Bespak plc
Bespak, a leader in speciality medical devices, develops delivery systems for the pharmaceutical industry and disposable airway management products for critical care settings. Bespak's product range includes metered dose and dry powder inhalers, actuators, inflation valves, disposable face masks, breathing circuits and laryngeal tubes. The group, which has facilities in King's Lynn and Milton Keynes in the UK and Indianapolis and Kent, Ohio in the US is quoted on the Official List of the London Stock Exchange . For more information, please visit www.bespak.com
About Bang & Olufsen Medicom
Bang & Olufsen Medicom is a leading expert in the design, development and supply of innovative drug delivery device solutions and sensor based technologies. The current product range includes; inhalers, tablet reminders and injection pens with a focus on patient compliance. Bang & Olufsen Medicom offers concept development, engineering and manufacturing services to clients with options to licence its intellectual property. For more information you can visit: http://www.medicom.bang-olufsen.com
To download images of the Inhaler (Assist Actuated Inhaler(TM)) please visit the Bang & Olufsen Medicom center: http://mediacenter.bang-olufsen.dk/MediaCenter/mc.nsf simply register the first time you visit.
 Source IMS data, 2000 to 2004
 American Journal of Respiratory care Med, Vol 170, pp 1281-1285, 2004
Bang & Olufsen Medicom