Zambon takes a €140m Breath

Breath Therapeutics’ narrow focus on a rare lung disease has paid off. Just over two years after spinning out of the medical device specialist Pari Pharma, Breath has been picked up by Zambon for €140m ($175m) up front. As well as justifying Breath’s one-project approach, Zambon’s move is a nice payday for Breath’s investors, Sofinnova, Gimv and Gilde Healthcare, which had together invested just €43.5m in the company’s single funding round. Breath’s sole asset, L-CsA-i, is an inhaled formulation of the immunosuppressant cyclosporine A in pivotal trials for bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, a fatal disease that can affect patients receiving lung transplants, and for which there are no approved therapies. The private Italian group Zambon, which is also on the hook for up to €500m in milestones, will now have to wait and see whether it has made a good call: data from the Boston-1 and Boston-2 studies of L-CsA-i are not due until 2021. L-CsA-i will join another late-stage Zambon respiratory project, inhaled colistimethate sodium, which is in phase III for non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. If the data are positive Zambon hopes to file colistimethate sodium for approval in 2021.

Zambon's late-stage respiratory assets
Project Description Indication Status Trials
L-CsA-i Inhaled cyclosporine A, using Pari's eFlow nebuliser  Bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome Phase III Boston-1
Boston-2
Colistimethate sodium  Inhaled colistimethate sodium, using Philips' I-Neb AAD system Prevention of pulmonary exacerbations in adults with NCFB colonised with P aeruginos Phase III Promis I 
Promis II
NCFB=non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis. Source: company releases & clinicaltrials.gov.

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