Adherium & AstraZeneca Partner to Improve the Lives of Individuals with Respiratory Disease

July 23, 2015 – New Zealand-based Adherium (NZ) Limited has entered a long term partnership with international pharmaceutical leader AstraZeneca in what the company believes is a world-first commercial arrangement combining digital health technology with blockbuster inhaler medications to improve health outcomes for patients with respiratory conditions.


Under a long term Supply Agreement, Adherium will supply innovative new devices and sensors that AstraZeneca will incorporate within global patient support programs for patients with COPD and asthma.


Adherium Managing Director and CEO Garth Sutherland said, “We are very pleased to be working with AstraZeneca. These agreements represent a major advance in the treatment and management of respiratory disease, and will make a fundamental difference to the quality of life for people with asthma and COPD.”


Over the past 15 years Adherium has developed its device monitoring technology and collaborated with a broad range of academic partners to demonstrate the robustness and effectiveness of the devices. Fewer than 50% of asthma patients adhere to their prescribed preventative medications. The addition of an Adherium Smartinhaler™ has been clinically proven to increase adherence by up to 59% in adults¹ and 180% in children¹ with asthma. In adults, clinical evidence also showed that using a Smartinhaler can reduce severe episodes by 60%, which is a profound improvement on current best practice.


This partnership:

  • Establishes Adherium as a leading player in digital health technologies transforming the management of chronic respiratory diseases;
  • Demonstrates AstraZeneca’s commitment to its Intelligent Pharmaceuticals program by being the first company to execute a commercial agreement for digital technology complementary to its inhalation products; and
  • Validates the commercial importance of the Adherium technology in the global digital health market.

Adherium has developed a wide range of electronic monitors (the Smartinhaler™ product range) that record the time and date of the use of an individual inhaler and transmits that information to the patient’s mobile and to a treating physician. This provides objective data on inhaler medication use to patients, physicians and carers.


AstraZeneca has already successfully used this technology in clinical evaluations and clinical trials, and has piloted its use in programs to support patients in the management of their conditions.  AstraZeneca plans to use Adherium device technology as the pivotal component of its innovative global patient support programs.


Initially the technology will be used to monitor patients’ use of therapy and provide personalised advice to patients based on their conditions and medication use. In the future, developments are likely to include additional sensors designed to monitor a patient’s condition and potentially to assess a patient’s personalised risk factors.


Adherium Chairman Dr Doug Wilson commented, “This partnership signifies a change in the way we approach the treatment of respiratory disease. By providing objective and accurate data on a patient’s medication usage, we can now for the first time develop treatment plans tailored to each patient, and in doing so dramatically improve their quality of life.”


¹ Foster JM, Usherwood T, Smith L , Sawyer SM, Xuan W, Rand CS, Reddel HK, Inhaler reminders improve adherence with controller treatment in primary care patients with asthma. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology , Volume 134 , Issue 6 , 1260 – 1268.e3

¹ Chan AHY, Stewart AWS, Harrison J, Camargo C, Black PN, Mitchell EA. The effect of an inhaler with ringtones on asthma control and school attendance in children. Lancet Respir Med. January 21 2015. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(15)00008-9

  • First-in-class collaboration combining digital health with class leading inhaled medications
  • Long term international supply agreement targeted at AstraZeneca’s patient support programs
  • Adherium’s Smartinhaler proven to substantially improve medication adherence and health outcomes in adults and children

About Adherium (NZ) Limited

Adherium’s proprietary Smartinhaler™ platform comprises of a range of approved medical devices that attach to prescription inhalers to record medication usage patterns. The devices track the date and time of patient use and transmit audio and visual reminders to the patient when they miss a critical dose of preventative medication. The devices also provide warnings to the patient when their rescue medication use indicates their condition is becoming uncontrolled. The Smartinhaler™ devices automatically transmit this data using wireless communications technologies to a smartphone app, or a remote monitoring hub, or personal computer from where the data can be shared with the patients’ clinician for additional support.


Currently clinicians do not have a system to record medication usage and rely heavily on patient feedback, which can be inaccurate. Having access to accurate and objective data enables physicians to identify sub-optimal medication adherence and suggest more effective treatment plans for patients.  Adherium’s products are striving to reduce the significant financial costs associated with suboptimal medication adherence has on healthcare systems across the globe.


Clinical outcomes data has proven that the Smartinhaler platform can improve adherence by up to 59% in adults and 180% in children with asthma. In addition, severe episodes were reduced by 60% in adults with asthma. Both groups benefited from improved quality-of-life as a result of their improved adherence, demonstrating a substantial gain over current best practice treatment.


Adherium is a provider of digital health solutions to pharmaceutical, remote patient monitoring, and clinical trials companies and organisations.