GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has entered a development agreement and R&D collaboration with Propeller Health to develop a digital sensor for its Ellipta inhaler.

Under the non-exclusive agreement, Propeller will develop and manufacture a custom sensor for the Ellipta inhaler, which will be used in certain clinical studies carried out by GSK related to asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

In the studies, the sensor will be used to automatically collect and record data on the inhaler’s usage and wirelessly transmit information to a central data repository for analysis by clinical researchers.

The sensor technology is being developed to provide better insights into adherence patterns across patient populations, and allows a more precise correlation of adherence with safety, efficacy and economic outcomes.

Propeller Health CEO David Van Sickle said: “We are pleased to announce a collaboration with GSK, a global leader in the treatment of respiratory disease.”

“We continue to find new and better ways to conduct clinical trials by exploring novel patient centred outcomes through strategic collaborations.”

The deal allows GSK to negotiate exclusive commercialisation rights for the sensor for use with its marketed portfolio of respiratory medicines administered using the Ellipta inhaler.

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GSK respiratory R&D senior vice-president Dave Allen said: “We continue to find new and better ways to conduct clinical trials by exploring novel patient centred outcomes through strategic collaborations.

“Using innovative sensor technology to improve the quality of adherence data collected during our studies will advance our understanding of disease and inform our decision-making in the development of new medicines.”

In the US, the Propeller platform was used by patients in more than 35 commercial programmes, including major healthcare systems, payers, employers and other commercial partners.

The platform is compatible with the majority of commonly used asthma and COPD inhaler devices, including controller and reliever metred dose inhalers (MDIs) and other inhaler devices such as dry powder inhalers (DPI) and soft mist inhalers (SMI).

The Propeller platform received FDA 510(k) class II clearance to measure and improve medication adherence, help predict exacerbations, as well as reduce the frequency of symptoms and exacerbations in asthma and COPD.