Clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Asmacure has dosed its first subjects with ASM-024 dry powder for inhalation (DPI) formulation in a phase 1/2 trial.

The ASM-024 has a novel multi-functional mechanism of action with nicotinic and muscarinic effects. The investigational drug has demonstrated the capabilities of inhibitory effects on inflammation, bronchoprotection and smooth muscle relaxation in pre-clinical asthma models.

Asmacure founder and chief medical officer Yvon Cormier said that the anti-inflammatory, bronchoprotection and smooth muscle relaxation effects shown in pre-clinical asthma models and the results from phase 2 of the programme indicate that ASM-024 is a potent new treatment option for individuals with asthma.

"The ASM-024 has a novel multi-functional mechanism of action with nicotinic and muscarinic effects."

"The novel mechanism of action could prove beneficial for patients with moderate to severe asthma and COPD where the dual nicotinic and muscarinic effects could provide added benefit," Cormier added.

The trial being conducted in Quebec City in Canada has a single-ascending dose and repeat administration phases and bridges to a phase 2 study in moderate asthmatics.

The phase 2 portion in the moderate asthma population is expected to commence in the third quarter.

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Asmacure chief executive officer Martin Driscoll said: "With the growing need for adjunctive treatments in the effort to better control moderate to severe asthma, we are hopeful the novel mechanism of ASM-024 will provide clinicians and patients with a new adjunctive option.

"We also look forward to the progression of the ASM-024 DPI into a phase 2 COPD trial later this summer."