Sanner, Amiko detail partnership targeting novel medication adherence strategies

By Dave Muoio
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Bensheim, Germany-based drug delivery system manufacturer Sanner GmbH and London, UK-based Amiko — a startup that has leveraged smart sensors and artificial intelligence to develop its connected inhaler and app suite Respiro — are looking to integrate novel technologies into medication packaging to better address the challenges of medication adherence.

Following an unspecified investment in the startup by parent company Sanner Ventures, which was announced last month, the pharmaceuticals-focused company said today in a statement that it is specifically interested in leveraging Amiko’s proprietary sensor technology into its own products. By including the sensors within custom-designed drug packaging and delivery products, either as an add-on or as a full integration, the two companies hope to offer pharmaceutical firms a new approach to measuring and ensuring medication compliance for respiratory or other chronic diseases.

“Sanner has profound experience in moisture protection solutions and custom-made primary plastic packaging, as well as in design for manufacturing and industrialization of drug delivery systems,” Dirk Mähr, managing director of Sanner GmbH, said in a statement. “Together with Amiko’s digital Respiro Platform and unique sensor technology, we will transform our synergies into smart solutions for true medication adherence in respiratory care.”

These efforts, which the companies also detailed at the Pharmapack Europe conference held last week in Paris, will come alongside work to further expand Amiko’s Respiro platform. This product consists of a connected inhaler outfitted with sensors able to gauge compliance, appropriate use, lung function, and diseases, as well as patient- and provider-facing apps that offer coaching and adherence monitoring.

“Our digital health tools assist healthcare professionals and empower patients to achieve better respiratory treatment results,” Duilio Macchi, CEO and cofounder of Amiko, said in a statement. “Together with Sanner we will advance our mission to upgrade respiratory care, improve health outcomes, and reduce the costs of care for pulmonary diseases via AI-powered mobile health solutions.”

Amiko was founded in 2014, and has received a CE mark for its Respiro platform. The startup doesn’t have a presence in the US, but has individual and enterprise customers in Italy, Germany, France, Spain, the UK, and the Netherlands. In last month’s funding announcement, Christian Schierholz, venture associate at Sanner Ventures, noted that the platform’s cost efficiency and flexibility make it “ideally suited for both add-on and integrated modules.”

Still, Amiko’s connected inhaler platform will have to compete with other well-known digital health companies like Propeller Health in the United States and Adherium in New Zealand. Similar to Amiko, some of these competitors have also found themselves allied with pharmaeutical-focused companies — pediatric inhaler company Gecko Health Innovations was acquired by Teva Pharmaceuticals in 2015 and smart inhaler company Inspiro Medical was bought by Opko in 2014, while Adherium works extensively with AstraZeneca.

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