Mountain View, CA, October 9, 2007 - Broncus Technologies, Inc., a medical device company investigating the airway bypass procedure for the treatment of emphysema, today announced that the results of its open-label Exhale Drug-Eluting Stent feasibility study have been published in the October issue of the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. Positive results include a statistically significant reduction in the amount of air trapped in the lungs and an improvement in breathing for patients at six months after the airway bypass procedure.
Airway bypass is a catheter-based bronchoscopic procedure designed to reduce lung hyperinflation and improve breathlessness (the clinical hallmarks of emphysema/COPD) by making new pathways for trapped air to exit the lungs. During the minimally invasive procedure, new openings are created in the airway wall connecting the damaged lung tissue to the natural airway. These pathways are supported and kept open by Exhale Drug-Eluting Stents. The hope is to improve quality of life by relieving severe symptoms including shortness of breath and hyperinflation of the chest.
Emphysema, a component of COPD, is a chronic, progressive, and irreversible lung disease characterized by the destruction of lung tissue. The loss of the lungs' natural elasticity and the collapse of airways in the lung combine to make exhalation ineffective, leaving emphysema sufferers with hyperinflation because they are unable to get air out of their lungs. Breathing becomes inefficient and patients have to work very hard just to breathe making normal activities, like walking, eating or even bathing, difficult. Treatment options for most patients with emphysema are currently limited and generally result in anguished patients and frustrated physicians.
The prospectively-defined primary endpoint of this feasibility study was a reduction in residual volume (RV, the amount of air remaining in the lungs after full exha
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