Respiosa, an NLC venture, will help people with obstructive sleep apnea through a revolutionary implant
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition where people stop breathing repeatedly during sleep which leads to daytime sleepiness and other long-term comorbid complications. Approximately 10% of the general population suffer from this condition. The most prescribed treatment options for OSA are continuous positive airway pressure and mandibular advancement devices, both of which require nightly usage to be effective. However, a lot of patients find these treatments uncomfortable and therefore don’t use them as regularly as their clinician instructs them to. Surgical options overcome the issues around usage, but are either largely ineffective for OSA or, in the case of hypoglossal nerve stimulation, expensive.
The Respiosa implant addresses a specific phenotype of OSA where the tongue base is the primary source of the issue as it rests over the airway during sleep causing airway collapse. The Respiosa implant works by advancing and stabilising the tongue base, preventing it from obstructing the airway while the patient sleeps. The Respiosa implant is implanted under local anaesthetic in a simple 20 minute procedure and titrated to therapeutic levels approximately 2-4 weeks after implantation. There are only low levels of pain associated with the recovery from this procedure. The implant is permanent and well tolerated. As it is an implant there are no issues with short or long-term adherence to therapy.
This product is desperately needed. Patients do not adhere to the current treatments long-term and this is a real problem because it not only puts them at risk of sleepiness related occupational and automobile accidents, but negatively impacts their long-term health and consequently increases the cost of their healthcare.
Steven Coughlin, the new CEO, has 22 years experience working in the field of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), fifteen of which were spent unsuccessfully trying to improve the current treatment options so patients could use them more regularly. He eventually came to the conclusion that we need new treatment options that overcome the issues limiting treatment usage. This is his second time working to bring a new treatment for OSA to market. His first was at NightBalance where he was the VP of Market Access.
Clinical trials were done with a previous generation of the device. Since then significant redesign of the product has been undertaken. The next step is to validate the technology and perform a pivotal clinical trial for regulatory approval purposes.