2. Insulin inhaler from Aerogen and Dance Pharmaceuticals
Aerogen and Dance Pharmaceuticals are confident they can succeed where Pfizer's ($PFE) Exubera and others failed, planning to market an inhalable insulin platform. Ireland's Aerogen is a maker of aerosol-based delivery platforms, and the San Francisco-based Dance develops inhaled insulins, so the partnership was natural. And why do the two companies think they won't find themselves in the same boat as Pfizer? Exubera's flop was due, in large part, to its unwieldy delivery platform--the inhaler was the size of a Pringles can--and it certainly didn't help that the product was deemed prohibitively expensive by payers and regulators. Aerogen and Dance, however, are working with the former's wafer-thin QnQ aerosol generator, a dome-shaped aperture plate that uses vibration to pump low-velocity aerosol deep into the lungs. They plan to pair that tech with Dance's inhalable insulin and package the whole thing in a pocket-sized device, providing painless, non-invasive treatment for diabetics. The two firms are targeting 2016 for regulatory approval.