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8 September, 2016 - 08:58 By Kate Sweeney

AstraZeneca bankrolls Cambridge inhaler scale-up

consort medical, respiratory, inhalers, astrazeneca, cambridge

UK pharmaceutical powerhouse AstraZeneca has bought into novel respirtatory device technology from Bespak, a division of Consort Medical in Cambridge.

No figures are being released for the deal but Consort CEO Jon Glenn said it was a significant new commercial supply agreement for Bespak’s inhalers.

AstraZeneca has signed a multi-year agreement for the scale-up and supply of Bespak's proprietary pressurised metered dose inhaler (pMDI) valves and actuators.

These components will be assembled with AstraZeneca's Bevespi Aerosphere (glycopyrrolate and formoterol fumarate) inhalation aerosol indicated for the long-term, maintenance treatment of airflow obstruction in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); this includes chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema.

AstraZeneca revealed near the end of April that its device had been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. The products will be manufactured in Bespak's existing King's Lynn facility. Going forwards the project will be referred to as VAL100.

Jon Glenn said: “We are delighted to have successfully concluded this agreement with AstraZeneca. This further reinforces the ongoing strength of our respiratory device franchise in the pMDI segment.”

Consort said at its AGM that the group continues to trade in line with the board's expectations for the current financial year on a constant currency basis.

In line with several quoted Cambridge companies, Consort says it does not expect to be adversely affected by Brexit, although it is closely monitoring the situation – and adds that there could actually be a Forex uptick.

Consort's foreign exchange exposure is mainly to the Euro; if exchange rates continue below those reported in FY2016, then foreign exchange translation benefits are expected, Glenn told shareholders.

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