Pure Inhalation Medication Systems (PureIMS) is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative inhaled therapies, based on its proprietary dry powder inhaler Cyclops™. The focus is on the treatment of systemic and respiratory diseases with significant unmet medical need. The company’s leadership team consists of seasoned life sciences executives who bring long-lasting and complementary experience in leading drug development, addressing applicable scientific issues and pursuing commercial and business development & licensing opportunities. They obtained their experience in leading positions with mid-size and top-5 global Pharma companies, and with successful service providers. PureIMS’ lead candidate, Levodopa Cyclops™, is in the final development stage as rescue therapy for OFF-episodes in Parkinson’s disease. One product, Colistin Cyclops™, is already marketed and reimbursed under a named patient program for the treatment of cystic fibrosis patients. Other clinical programs – including Epinephrine Cyclops™ for (food) allergy and impending anaphylaxis – are being explored in an early clinical stage. PureIMS also supports pharma/biotech partners, applying the Cyclops™-based inhalation route for their drug of choice.
Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Wieling brings 30 years of experience as an executive and entrepreneur in (bio)pharmaceutical research and development (TNO, DSM, PRA/ICON, Xendo, QPS and BiosanaPharma). He is a seasoned expert in building effective and efficient product and platform development businesses and serves on the board and advisory committee of various (bio)pharmaceutical companies and (biopharmaceutical) service industries. For many years he has been invited university lecturer on pharmaceutical product development. He holds a BSc degree in chemistry, an MSc degree in pharmacology and a PhD degree in Mathematics and Natural Sciences from Groningen University, The Netherlands.
PhD, CLP, Chief Business Development Officer
Jeroen Tonnaer is responsible for BD&L at PureIMS. He brings over 35 years worldwide experience in drug discovery-development and BD&L at both sides of the Pharma and biotech arena. Previously he was CBO of Cristal Therapeutics, Executive Director BD&L at Merck/MSD, and held various prior BD&L and R&D positions at Schering-Plough and Organon. His contributions to identifying the right partners and to arranging licensing or partnership agreements yielded several multi-million-$ licensing deals and multiple smaller scale collaborative partnerships. Dr. Tonnaer holds a PhD degree in pharmacology from the University of Utrecht and is a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP™). He is also member of the Advisory Board of Protinhi Therapeutics.
Reinier Schwietert - † 12 October 2022
PhD, Chief Scientific Officer
To our utmost sorrow Reinier suddenly passed away on Wednesday October 12, 2022. We consider it a privilege to have been able to work with Reinier and we value his professional contributions to PureIMS and his personal comradeship as a colleague. We wish his family and friends the strength required to cope with the unexpected loss of this remarkable person.
Dr. Reinier Schwietert (1962-2022) received his Ph.D. degree in Pharmacology (cum laude) from the University of Amsterdam. At the end of 1992 he joined Pharma Bio-Research (PBR; now PRA Health Sciences) in Zuidlaren. During this time he designed, coordinated and reported many early phase clinical trials for major pharmaceutical and biotech companies. In 1996, he was promoted to Manager of the Sponsor Liaison Office at PBR, a position which he held until his leave in 1998. In 1999, he co-founded Xendo Laboratories at the premises of the University Medical Center in Groningen. Later on in 2004, Xendo Laboratories was incorporated into Xendo Holding, a full-service contract research and consultancy provider to the international health care industry which under his co-leadership grew organically to an organization of > 200 people with a turnover of > 35 million euro’s. Since 1999, he has been Member of the Board and Shareholder of Xendo Holding taking on different management roles and responsibilities. In 2010 the contract research division of Xendo Holding in Groningen was acquired by QPS and in 2016 the consultancy division in Leiden by Sovereign Capital. Since 2010, Reinier Schwietert has been VP of Global Marketing for QPS Holdings. From January until December 2017, he was VP of Drug Development Consultancy for QPS in Europe. He became interim CEO of PureIMS in April 2018, a position which he held until November 2020. Currently, he is the chief scientific officer (CSO) of PureIMS.
PhD, Principal Scientist
Floris Grasmeijer is a pharmacist and is responsible for formulation and device development in his role as Principal Scientist at PureIMS. He performed a PhD in inhalation technology at the University of Groningen, after which he there continued his studies as a post-doctoral researcher. Besides his expertise in formulations and devices, Floris also has experience with the preparation of clinical trials. Floris is involved with PureIMS from the start: “It is very motivating to put theory to practice; to take the knowledge about powders and inhalers and use it to quickly pinpoint and solve problems as they arise and to develop products that actually make a difference to patients.”
PhD, Head of Program Management
Marcel Hoppentocht is a pharmacist and in view of his broad interest and organizational capacities his role as Head of Program Management suits him well. He performed a PhD in inhalation technology at the University of Groningen, during which the Cyclops™ DPI was developed and a first clinical trial with Cyclops™ was conducted. He continued as a post-doctoral researcher for two years during which he was Project Leader of formulation and inhaler development within the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) iABC project dedicated to developing inhaled antibiotics. Marcel is involved with PureIMS from the start: “Making Cyclops™ available to many patients and improving their quality of life, would be a dream come true.”
Head of Production
Wouter Dijkstra is a pharmacist and responsible for production in his role as Head of Production at PureIMS. He studied pharmacy at the University of Groningen, after which he has worked for several pharmaceutical companies in different roles. Wouter has experience with manufacturing and release of Investigational Medicinal Products and compounded products. Wouter is involved with PureIMS since 2019: “It is a privilege to support the development of an amazingly innovative Dry Powder Inhaler and make a change for patients in need.”
Truus van den Bos
As Office Manager Truus van den Bos takes care of the administration, purchasing and human resources at PureIMS. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in economics she worked in several administrative positions before joining PureIMS in 2017. “It gives me a great deal of satisfaction when everyone in the company can function to their full potential, when all resources are available, and the paperwork is handled properly.”
R&D and Manufacturing Pharmacist
In his role as R&D and Production Pharmacist Martijn performs most of the formulation and inhaler development activities at PureIMS and manufactures our products for clinical use. He studied pharmacy at the University of Groningen where he helped to develop several Cyclops™ products during multiple internships. Martijn started working at PureIMS after his graduation in 2019. ‘’I am thrilled to work on such a simple, yet innovative device and to make a difference for patients who are in dire need”.
Scientific advisory board
The scientific advisory board is an independent group of scientists and clinicians who hold no financial share in the company. The board cannot be held responsible for the decisions of the company.
Dr. Anne Haaije de Boer
Physical Process Engineer
Anne Haaije de Boer is engineer in unit operations for particle processing and retired research physicist of the University of Groningen. He has been the project leader of the inhalation group within the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology and Biopharmacy for 30 years. He and his group developed the basic concepts for several dry powder inhalers that reached the market, including AstraZeneca’s Genuair and PureIMS’s Cyclops. De Boer is still active on a voluntary basis for the university and highly motivated to advise PureIMS on design and development of new inhaler devices and formulation technology for further expansion of the Cyclops platform.
Prof. dr. Gerard Koppelman
Gerard Koppelman is a clinician-scientist whose goal is to improve early diagnosis and prevention of asthma, and to optimize treatment of asthma in childhood. As a pediatric pulmonologist, he focuses on children with severe chronic lung disease and treats children with cystic fibrosis. In his research, Koppelman investigates diagnostic DNA tests for asthma and early biomarkers of disease. He also supervises a project on improving inhalation therapies in children with Cystic Fibrosis. Major accomplishments include the identification of novel genes for asthma, eczema and hay fever, as well as epigenetic signatures in childhood asthma.
Koppelman advises PureIMS on the development of inhalation therapy in Cystic Fibrosis.
Prof. dr. Teus van Laar
Professor of Neurology
Prof. Van Laar is clinical neurologist by training, with special expertise in Movement Disorders, especially on Parkinson’s disease (PD) and the effect of pharmacological interventions on this disease. The first years of his career have been focused on the treatment of advanced patients with PD, whereas at that time apomorphine was introduced in Europe. He has significantly contributed to the clinical dossier necessary to register apomorphine in the Netherlands. After its introduction he has performed multiple studies to establish the effect of apomorphine on motor- and non-motor aspects of PD. Thereafter, the focus of his interest moved towards the non-motor aspects of PD, especially on the cognitive deterioration, accompanied by visual hallucinations. He was one of the first neurologists in the Netherlands, examining the clinical effect and adverse effects of rivastigmine in PD dementia, and contributed to a pivotal study, published in the NEJM (Emre et al, NEJM 2004; 351:2509-18).
Prof. dr. Daan Touw
Hospital Pharmacist, Clinical Pharmacologist
Daan Touw is a hospital pharmacist and clinical pharmacologist whose goal is to improve treatment of patients in general. As head of the clinical pharmacological laboratory of the University Medical Center Groningen he focuses on the development of new clinical assays and the pharmacokinetic modelling of drugs used in infectious diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis and in transplantation. He supervises several projects aiming at a better understanding of pharmacokinetic variability within and between patients and using this knowledge to develop models that can aid in improving drug treatment outcomes.
Epinephrine Cyclops™ is a pre-loaded disposable breath-powered epinephrine dry powder inhaler for the fast and reliable treatment of severe allergic reactions and anaphylaxis. Inhaled epinephrine from the Cyclops™ offers people at risk of anaphylaxis a low barrier to use, because it is non-invasive, easy and convenient to handle, it has a fast onset of action, and a short exposure duration which allows for repeated treatment without dose stacking. Epinephrine Cyclops™ is more affordable than epinephrine auto-injectors and its credit card size enables excellent portability of one or more devices. This allows patients to have multiple devices per user. It also allows for the disposable nature of Epinephrine Cyclops™. Disposable inhalers are ideal for incidental acute treatment of anaphylaxis.
The current first-aid treatment to prevent anaphylaxis is intramuscular epinephrine injection by means of an autoinjector. Major unmet medical needs experienced by people at risk of anaphylaxis are the following:
- People are reluctant to use their autoinjector, which puts them at risk of untimely treatment of an anaphylactic reaction.
- Fewer than 50% of people at risk of anaphylaxis can use their autoinjector device correctly. An easier-to-use device for epinephrine administration is therefore required.
Epinephrine Cyclops™ answers both medical needs with its ease and convenience of use. Besides needle phobia among patients, there are several more reasons to choose a needle-free epinephrine administration:
- Discrete administration method: no strange looks from bystanders when used in public.
- No risk of stick or laceration injuries.
- No accidental injections.
- No risk of erroneous injection in body fat instead of muscle tissue.
- No spare auto-injector available after incorrect use or insufficient effect.
In addition, injecting a loved-one – when he or she is unable to use an auto-injector (like younger children) – may also be traumatic.
A clinical study showed that Epinephrine Cyclops™ results in a shorter and less variable time to peak plasma concentration than intramuscular epinephrine. The exposure duration following the use of Epinephrine Cyclops™ is also very brief and consistent, which results in a plasma profile that approaches intravenous epinephrine.