QUEBEC /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Victhom Human Bionics Inc. announced the filing of an additional patent for the detection and treatment of sleep apnea and has also disclosed the preliminary results from its preclinical studies.
The company has recently filed a new patent application relating to a method and device for the detection, identification, and treatment of sleep apnea/hypopnea, using its neuromodulation platform. Late in 2007, the company filed a patent application on detection of obstructive apnea from sensory signals in vagal nerve. The continued research has revealed that, in fact, sensory signals in various nerves innervating the larynx and the breathing airway can provide a good source for the detection of respiration rate and onset and the duration of any form of an apneic event. "The new findings are filed in a comprehensive patent application that captures our unique approach to detection and treatment of respiratory disorders", said Mr. Kameli, Chief Operating Officer of the Neurobionix division.
Over the course of 2008, the company has validated its findings in various preclinical research studies. Initial preclinical results show that the technology can successfully detect onset, duration, and termination of any form of respiratory distress, such as hypopnea, obstructive apnea, and central apnea. "The detection of apnea has always been a challenge," stated Mr. Kameli. "Many companies have tried various technologies, with various degrees of success. The issue seems to be that artificial sensors that need to be placed in the airway of patients are neither accurate nor patient-friendly. Patient compliance and ease of use seems to be an issue," continued Mr. Kameli. He further stated, "Victhom has been able, in preclinical studies, to decode what the lungs and the airway passages are reporting to the brain to identify when the subject is in distress and is in need of help. No other form of sensing can be as effective."
Once apneas are detected, novel neurostimulation therapies can be used to restore breathing to patients in a very short time. Mr. Kameli said, "Apnea is a problem that affects millions of people around the globe. In addition to being a standalone disorder, the presence of apnea as a co-morbidity to other diseases and disorders contributes to the suffering of many patients. This technology has application in standalone therapy for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea or in combination therapy in patients suffering from heart failure and sleep apnea to improve outcomes." The company plans, in partnering with leaders in the field of sleep apnea and cardiac rhythm management, to complete the development and introduction of this therapy to each targeted market.
Apnea is defined as an intermitted cessation of airflow. It is a form of breathing disorder that happens mostly during sleep. Apnea is a co-morbidity with other physiological issues, such as high blood pressure, heart attack, congestive heart failure, cardiac arrhythmia, stroke, or depression. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that more than 18 million American adults suffer from sleep apnea. Current treatments for sleep apnea include Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device (CPAP) and various surgeries. CPAP is offered by companies such as ResMed Inc. and Phillips Respironics Inc. Other new treatments are under investigation by various medical device companies, such as Medtronic Inc., Boston Scientific Corp., and St. Jude Medical, in addition to new startup companies.
Victhom Human Bionics Inc. discovers, develops, and manufactures bionic devices involved in the treatment of a variety of physical and physiological dysfunctions. Victhom's Neurobionix Division focuses on the development and commercialization of technologies and products involving implantable devices that feature neurosensing and neurostimulation components, integrated with artificial intelligence. Victhom's Biotronix Division develops biomechatronic products to support or replace peripheral limbs in what is known as the orthotics and prosthetics market.