Expertise makes it Easy for pharma start-up

Pharmaceutical start-up Breathe Easy Therapeutics is one of those companies whose goal is so profoundly worthy, it’s impossible not to wish them success, says Callaghan Innovation business innovation adviser Julia Chambers.

The company is trialing medicine which it hopes will radically improve the longevity and life quality for sufferers of cystic fibrosis (CF).

Breathe Easy CEO Andrea Miller says the company “imagines a day when those with CF can just be busy living, and not worrying about losing the battle to CF”.

Julia chambers (L) and Breathe Easy CEO Andrea Miller

Julia Chambers (L) and Breathe Easy CEO Andrea Miller

The company is embarking on a critical phase in the drug’s development, and Miller credits Callaghan Innovation with helping get it to this point.

“We’ve recently started a clinical trial of our inhaled medicine – Citramel™.

“Citramel is a complete NZ story. It was invented here, made here and is being trialed here.”

The drug has already been used in compassionate circumstances on patients in New Zealand, with extremely encouraging results.

Miller explains Callaghan Innovation’s technology and product development team helped get over a key hurdle.

“We were circling around an in-vitro testing issue for some time. The Callaghan Innovation Protein Science and Engineering team helped us grip this area up and move forward. We now believe that we are maximizing our in-vitro testing program which should provide more in depth data and results for our trial. That’s gold!”

“Citramel is a complete NZ story. It was invented here, made here and is being trialed here.”

As well as supporting the science behind Citramel, and providing a Project Grant to assist the development, Callaghan Innovation also helped the business develop through making strategic connections and building networks.

“Having access to experts like our dedicated business innovation adviser has effectively given us an extra pair of eyes looking across a range of strategic areas. Their experience and advice means we’re linking to support, networks and contacts that we need as we move through our project steps.”

“This outside technical support really matters and their experts are experienced and world-class.”

Breathe Easy Therapeutics has plans to expand, and has utilised Callaghan Innovation’s Innovation IP course to help the start-up manage intellectual property issues.

“We’re also evaluating a range of other potential CF formulations and medical devices to provide better tools for clinicians and patients dealing with this chronic genetic illness.

“With the assistance of Callaghan Innovation we now have access to a much wider team of skilled professionals supporting all areas of our business, not only in the usual business development areas, but also in the harder to access technical areas.”

Miller has extended her thanks to key Callaghan Innovation staff through a unique heartfelt gift – a personalised fridge magnet or ‘MAGGIE’. The magnets were given to people who helped get Citramel to trial stage. I was lucky enough to receive one along with Antonia Miller, Research and Technical Services principle research scientist for protein science and engineering.

Julia's "MAGGIE"

Julia’s “MAGGIE”

Here at Callaghan Innovation we do get a lot of thanks from our clients, but I have to say this is the first personalised fridge magnet I’ve ever been given and I will cherish it forever.

Breathe Easy are a great company to work with and they epitomise what Callaghan Innovation is here for.

Click here to see a video explaining Breathe Easy’s work.


About Callaghan Innovation

Business. Technology. Success.
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