As an ear, nose and throat surgeon and specialist treating nasal and sinus diseases, Per Djupesland, MD, PhD, Optinose Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, experienced first-hand the limitations of existing nasal treatments. The same patients repeatedly came to his clinic, suffering and unable to find long-lasting relief, in many cases after one or more surgeries.
Determined to better understand what was creating these conditions, he learned more about nasal dynamics and the function of the nasal airways. He found that the solution came down to simple anatomy, and a patient’s own breath was the solution.
Dr. Djupesland devised a way to apply natural body mechanics to propel medications deep into the nasal cavity more efficiently and consistently than other approaches. This insight led to the design of the first drug delivery device model and the technology concept upon which Optinose is now built. With the encouragement and business experience of his wife, Helena, they filed the first patents and founded Optinose in 2000, and began to raise the funds needed to support R&D for new products using the concept.
In January 2014, Optinose and Avanir, which licensed North American commercial rights, submitted a New Drug Application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the Company’s first product, using an Optinose device to deliver sumatriptan for the treatment of migraines. The application (now approved) included clinical data showing that Optinose significantly improved headache relief within 30 minutes using a very low dose of medication. To help doctors and patients understand the role of this new approach, Optinose performed another clinical trial, directly comparing our new migraine treatment to the most commonly used medication for treatment of migraine. The results of this trial are now published.
In September 2017, we received FDA approval for XHANCE® (fluticasone propionate). In 2018, we plan to initiate additional clinical trials to seek a follow-on indication.
We believe that our technology has the potential to transformatively improve a wide variety of treatments across disease areas and platforms, including central nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, depression and schizophrenia, as well as vaccines, biologics, and even over-the-counter medications.
We believe we are on a path to something truly special here at Optinose. Stay tuned as our team works hard to deliver valuable treatments that offer new solutions to physicians and patients.