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AstraZeneca, Honeywell to develop respiratory inhalers with near-zero GWP propellants

AstraZeneca and Honeywell will partner to develop next-generation respiratory inhalers using the propellant HFO-1234ze, which has up to 99.9% less Global Warming Potential (GWP) than propellants currently used in respiratory medicines.

Pascal Soriot, Chief Executive Officer, AstraZeneca, said:

We are making great progress on our ambition to be zero carbon across our global operations by the end of 2025 and carbon negative across our entire value chain by 2030. Our collaboration with Honeywell demonstrates AstraZeneca’s commitment to advancing sustainable healthcare innovation, with the aim of improving outcomes for patients while reducing our environmental footprint.

Darius Adamczyk, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Honeywell, said:

The work we are doing with AstraZeneca developing a respiratory inhaler, with a new near-zero Global Warming Potential propellant, is tremendously important for both the environment and patients with respiratory issues. Our goal is to reduce respiratory healthcare carbon emissions without restricting patient choice or risking improvement in health outcomes.

Next-generation respiratory inhalers

Most patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) need inhaled medicines and many make use of pressurised metered dose inhalers (pMDIs) which contain small quantities of a type of GHG which acts as the propellant to deliver the medicine into the lungs.

Recent results from the first in-human Phase I trial of the near-zero GWP propellant HFO-1234ze in a pMDI containing budesonide, glycopyrronium, formoterol fumarate in healthy adults were positive, demonstrating similar safety, tolerability and systemic exposure of the active ingredients when compared to Breztri Aerosphere (budesonide/glycopyrronium/ formoterol fumarate). AstraZeneca expects Breztri to be the first medicine to transition to this new pMDI platform, subject to regulatory approval. In addition to offering next-generation pMDIs, AstraZeneca will continue offering dry powder inhaled medicines.

Respiratory diseases affect hundreds of millions of people around the world and there is a significant clinical need for pMDIs which are important device options for patients. Familiarity with device, limited lung function, and young or advanced age are all important considerations when choosing the type of inhaler that best suits the patient.

Supply chain science-based climate targets

AstraZeneca is one of the first seven companies globally to have its net zero targets verified by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in line with their Corporate Net Zero Standard. To support its decarbonisation goals, AstraZeneca aims for 95% of its key suppliers and partners to have science-based targets by the end of 2025.

The Company is committed to sharing lessons learned from its own decarbonisation pathway, and is a founding member of the Energize programme launched at COP26 which focuses on increasing access to renewable energy for pharmaceutical supply chains, as well as the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI) Health Systems Taskforce which aims to accelerate the delivery of net zero healthcare.


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