Market leader in respiratory innovation highlights potentially harmful1 consequences of short-term thinking in rush to introduce policies to switch patients to so-called ‘green inhalers’ as they announce breakthrough environmentally friendly pressurised metered dose inhaler (pMDI) ready by end of 2025.
Environmentally-friendly pMDI due to launch by end of 2025
First commercial agreement signed with propellant gas supplier Koura
New inhaler will ensure patients continue to access the range of treatment options they need
December 04 2019, Parma, ITALY; Chiesi, the international research-focused healthcare Group (Chiesi Group), today announces at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) its plan to bring to the market by the end of 2025 a breakthrough, environmentally friendly pMDI inhaler for patients with Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Chiesi Group, which received B CorpTM certification in June for its social and environmental transparency and accountability, and has committed to become carbon neutral by 2035, is the first company in the pharmaceutical industry to publicly announce a solution to address the carbon footprint of spray inhalers (pMDIs) while safeguarding necessary therapeutic options for patients.
Chiesi Group has a 5-year, €350 million investment plan to bring these new formulations to market, which will reduce the carbon footprint of pMDI inhalers by 90%. As part of this plan, Chiesi Group is the first company to announce a multi-million-euro commercial agreement to secure supply of HFA 152a (1,1-difluoroethane) with leading medical propellant manufacturer Koura. This new propellant will minimise the carbon footprint of a pMDI, down to a similar level as a dry powder inhaler (DPI)2. Chiesi has already invested approximately €50 million in manufacturing facilities for the new formulation and will work jointly with Koura to finalise the toxicology package demanded by worldwide regulatory agencies, prior to entering the next stage of clinical testing as required for any new drug.
Ugo Di Francesco, Chiesi Group CEO, said: “We believe protecting patient health and the environment should not be a matter of compromise. We are proud to supply both pMDI and DPI inhalers and to have taken decisive and ambitious action to ensure patients can continue to access the inhaler options that best suit their needs, whilst innovating to find the most environmentally conscious solution available. Switching treatments for non-clinical reasons has the potential to have a negative impact on patients’ health, as well as placing an added strain on resources. Patients should not have to shoulder the burden of environmental responsibility when considering treatment options that affect their health In the face of a global climate crisis, we must all share the burden of action. I can only encourage other industry players to join us.”
Notes to Editors
About the Chiesi Group: Chiesi Farmaceutici S.p.A. is an international, privately-owned pharmaceutical company, based in Parma, Italy. Chiesi is dedicated to the research, development and sales of innovative, therapeutic prescription medicines in the field of respiratory, neonatology and rare diseases. Chiesi ‘firsts’ include the first stem cell product approved in Europe and the announcement of the development of the first carbon minimal pMDI. Chiesi is a mid-sized, innovative company supporting jobs, sustainable growth, and patient needs. Chiesi employs over 5600 people, and in 2018, had global revenues of €1768 million, 21.6% of which were invested into R&D. Chiesi’s 2019-2024 strategic plan target is to reach 2.5 billion of turnover thanks to internationalisation, innovation and R&D and the enhancement of people, by integrating two key aspects: digitalisation and sustainability.
Chiesi is a certified B Corp, a new kind of business that balances purpose and profit: They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good. There are currently over 3,000 B Corp certified organisations worldwide.
Chiesi is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2035: The company goal was announced by Ugo Di Francesco, Chiesi Group CEO and President Alberto Chiesi in September 2019.
About Koura: Koura (formerly Mexichem) is a global leader in the development, manufacture and supply of fluoroproducts that play a fundamental role in enhancing everyday lives. Part of the Orbia community of companies, working together to tackle some of the world’s most complex challenges, Koura is a leading provider of innovative products and solutions across multiple sectors including petrochemical, construction, transportation and telecom. Koura’s products are used in a vast range of applications including the construction of towns and cities, keeping homes cool, food fresh and even in the treatment of respiratory conditions, providing the medical propellant used in 80% of the world’s Metered Dose Inhalers (MDIs). Headquartered in Boston, Koura has commercial activities in across the globe, with operations in Runcorn, UK, Mexico, St Gabriel, USA, Toronto, Mumbai, Mihara & Tokyo, Japan.
About 152a: 152a is a new, sustainable medical propellant that has been under development by Koura for several years for use in metered dose inhalers (MDIs) for treatment of respiratory disorders. Transition of MDI products to 152a will bring about an order of magnitude reduction in inhaler carbon footprints and results in the environmental impact of MDIs being equivalent to other so-called ‘green’ inhaler technologies such as dry powder inhaler (DPIs).