atropine sulfate inhaler
About the MicroDose Atropine Sulfate Inhaler Product
An inhaled atropine delivery system is being developed as an antidote against nerve gas poisoning for the U.S. Department of Defense and for Homeland Security applications. Atropine sulphate is a specific antidote for the treatment of poisoning from organophosphorus (OP) and carbamate insecticides and organophosphorus and acetylcholinesterase nerve agents. Many of these agents are lipophilic and are readily absorbed through the skin and through mucous membranes, but are also readily inhaled. The MicroDose atropine inhaler will enable the rapid systemic and pulmonary delivery of atropine sulphate to reverse the three most toxic effects of OP poisoning – bradycardia, bronchospasm, and bronchorrhea. Recent studies of OP exposed patients treated with inhaled atropine sulfate versus patients treated with intramuscular atropine sulfate demonstrated mediation of OP poisoning within five minutes of atropine sulfate inhalation.
Military, Civil Defense, and Civilian Significance
Chemical agents pose a considerable threat to the warfighter and potentially to other military personnel and civilians. The development of new antidote delivery systems is a crucial step in protecting personnel from these threats. Atropine use as an antidote in the treatment of organophosphate poisoning is essentially unchallenged, and has, amongst other uses, an ability to counteract the effects of nerve gas agents such as tabun, sarin, soman, cyclohexylsarin, and VX. The development of MicroDose’s inhaler technology for atropine and potentially for other drugs with defense applications, offers a new means for defending against the ominous threat of chemical weapons.
About Atropine Sulfate
Atropine is a naturally occurring tertiary amine first isolated from the Atropa belladonna plant in 1831. Atropine is the best-known member of a group of drugs known as muscarinic antagonists, which are competitive antagonists of acetylcholine at muscarinic receptors. By competitively blocking the action of acetylcholine at muscarinic receptors, atropine acts as a specific antidote for the treatment of poisoning with organophosphorus and carbamate insecticides and organophosphorus nerve agents.
Preclinical work has been completed and an IND filed and opened in anticipation of a Phase 1 study to be conducted in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. This Phase 1 study is expected to begin in Q2 2009. The development of this inhaled atropine product is focused upon replacing the functionality of the MANAA device, a cfc-based MDI (metered dose inhaler), for atropine delivery that had been in use by the U.S Department of Defense but is no longer available.