Cirrus, a contract drug and respiratory product developer, has landed a grant from the FDA to study the effectiveness of metered dose inhalers.

The value of the grant is $700,000, according to Karan Bagaria, vice president of corporate development for India based Kemwell Biopharma, which is the parent firm of Cirrus.

Kemwell acquired Cirrus in July.

Under new ownership, Cirrus now employs some 50 people and is “growing,” Bagaria told WRALTechWire,

Cirrus says the goal of the grant is “to investigate the effects of excipient concentrations and API particle size on the aerosolization performance of metered dose inhaler (MDI) formulations and to evaluate the sensitivity of in-vitro methods in detecting those changes.”

Cirrus has worked on a variety of inhalers, including dry power models, as well as nasal sprays and other respiratory products.

Cirrus has drug development expertise in inhalation, parenteral, transdermal, topical and liquid dosage forms. The company was founded in 1997. Kemwell focuses on developing and manufacturing drugs for pharmaceutical companies. The Bangalore-based company bills itself as one of the largest contract drug development/manufacturing organizations in India.

No financial terms for the Cirrus acquisition were disclosed.

Kemwell Chairman Anurag Bagaria said in a statement that the company’s corporate objective is to build a global contract services company. Cirrus brings early development services in the United States to complement Kemwell’s commercial manufacturing in facilities in India and Sweden.

Kemwell say that its client list includes Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Pfizer. The company employs more than 1,200 employees worldwide and seven production facilities and R&D laboratories in India and Sweden.