Insights on animal models to investigate inhalation therapy: Relevance for biotherapeutics

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Graphical abstractAcute and chronic respiratory diseases account for major causes of illness and deaths worldwide. Recent developments of biotherapeutics opened a new era in the treatment and management of patients with respiratory diseases. When considering the delivery of therapeutics, the inhaled route offers great promises with a direct, non-invasive access to the diseased organ and has already proven efficient for several molecules. To assist in the future development of inhaled biotherapeutics, experimental models are crucial to assess lung deposition, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and safety. This review describes the animal models used in pulmonary research for aerosol drug delivery, highlighting their advantages and limitations for inhaled biologics. Overall, non-clinical species must be selected with relevant scientific arguments while taking into account their complexities and interspecies differences, to help in the development of inhaled medicines and ensure their successful transposition in the clinics.

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