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CareFirst BCBS Covers eNO Measurement for Diagnosis, Asthma Treatment

MENLO PARK, Calif., July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Apieron, Inc. said today that CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield has adopted a positive coverage policy for the measurement of exhaled nitric oxide (eNO). The Medical Directors of CareFirst determined that the published, peer-reviewed evidence is sufficient to support benefit coverage for the treatment of asthma. The policy, effective July 20, 2009, states the measurement of exhaled nitric oxide is considered medically necessary in the management of asthma patients. CareFirst is the largest health care insurer in the Mid-Atlantic region, serving nearly 3.4 million members in Maryland, District of Columbia and portions of Virginia.

"In clinical practice, adopters of eNO monitoring have reported that eNO is predictive of asthma in patients with normal lung function, predictive of lack of compliance with medication regimens, and predictive of response to inhaled corticoid steroids," said Ms. Holly McGarraugh, Apieron CEO & President. "We are delighted that CareFirst has recognized the valuable impact that eNO measurement can have on asthma treatment. We are working to encourage similar coverage policies among private payers and managed care organizations across the country."

In a separate development, an official joint statement from the European Respiratory Society and the American Thoracic Society on June 25, 2009 included the recommendation that eNO be used as a biomarker for heightened concentrations of cells associated with asthma and allergy, and in evaluations of response to inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) treatments. The authors stated that eNO is a valuable tool to manage ICS and monitor its effects.

The American Thoracic Society is presently developing guidelines for eNO monitoring.

About the Insight eNO System

The Insight eNO System has been available for use in the physician's office since March 2008. The system uses a proprietary biosensor technology to measure exhaled nitric oxide, a well established indicator of asthma severity and steroid responsive airway inflammation. Measuring eNO and determining the level of airway inflammation can help clinicians more closely manage their patients' inflammatory condition and therefore more precisely titrate medications, which can lead to fewer exacerbations.

About Apieron, Inc.

Apieron, Inc. is a private, venture-backed medical device company based in Menlo Park, CA that was formed in early 2001 to develop a simple-to-use, non-invasive monitor for the measurement of exhaled nitric oxide (eNO) for the management of asthma. The Apieron biosensor technology platform utilizes a patented technology that allows for the highly sensitive detection of selected analytes like eNO. Apieron is committed to collaborating with physicians and patients to develop innovative medical solutions to improve quality of life and standards of care.

    Steve Bubrick
    (650) 838-8209

SOURCE Apieron, Inc.
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