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Denver Zoo Orangutan Breathes Easier With eFlow Technology From PARI

DENVER, April 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A state-of-the-art, eFlow Technology nebulizer (PARI Pharma GmbH) has lifted one Denver Zoo orangutan's health and spirits. Mias (Mee-us), a 27-year-old orangutan, has what veterinarians believe to be chronic airsacculitis, a complex respiratory disease that is a substantial problem in both wild and zoo orangutans. Current information suggests that this condition in orangutans may also have some similarities to cystic fibrosis in people.


Seeing Mias struggle with sinus and respiratory issues that resemble a head cold since his arrival in 1997, Denver Zoo staff have constantly searched for treatments that would improve his quality of life. Recently, staff at the Denver Zoo began using an eFlow Technology-based nebulizer (TRIO) as part of his treatment regimen and now Mias is feeling much better.

"We are so grateful for this technology from PARI Pharma and the help we received from human doctors, especially Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Cousar from National Jewish Health. This support has helped Mias tremendously," says Denver Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Deena Brenner.

Nebulizers aerosolize medications so patients can breathe medication directly into their lungs. They are used to treat a variety of respiratory diseases in humans and animals, and zoos are now using nebulizers to treat airsacculitis in orangutans. Nebulizers that are recommended for treatment of cystic fibrosis have shown the best efficacy in treating this disease in orangutans. TRIO is one of many advanced delivery systems based on eFlow Technology. eFlow Technology is a portable, electronic aerosol platform that increases the efficiency and effectiveness of medication delivery while significantly decreasing standard treatment times.  eFlow Technology can be customized and optimized for each medication formulation and formulations can be modified or adjusted to eFlow Technology.

In the case of Mias, zookeepers used an eFlow Technology-based nebulizer to distribute a bronchodilator to open his small airways and saline to moisturize and break apart thick secretions in his lungs. He has also received antibiotics by nebulization to treat infection.

After listening to a Zoo Atlanta zookeeper speak about using similar machines to successfully treat one of their orangutans, a Denver Zoo veterinarian contacted doctors and pharmaceutical companies in an effort to obtain this type of nebulizer for Mias' treatment. PARI Pharma stepped forward with technology that, due to its high flow rate and high percentage of each delivered dose, allows patients to better control their symptoms and significantly reduce the time to dispense medicine.

"Human patients often comment that they appreciate the advancements provided by eFlow Technology, and now Mias is showing that our technology can help orangutans with similar symptoms," said Geoff A. Hunziker, president of eFlow LLC.  "Our goal is to help reduce the treatment burdens of respiratory therapies for patients and their caregivers.  In this case, we are pleased that this could also extend to the Denver Zoo and Mias."

Zookeepers have administered treatments to Mias using an eFlow Technology-based nebulizer twice a day, every day for the last month. The results have been amazing. Before he began treatment, Mias was lethargic and could be found in a corner holding his head. Now he is far more active, alert, and social. He's even grooming his mate, Nias, which zookeepers say was once a very rare sight. Zookeepers will continue to use the TRIO if Mias redevelops symptoms.

Denver Zoo is also very fortunate to have received support from other companies, hospitals and health professionals to diagnose and alleviate Mias's symptoms. Those consultants and donors include:

  • Dr. Jennifer Taylor-Cousar from National Jewish Health
  • Dr. Martin Fliegelman
  • Brian Cummings from Teleflex Medical

About PARI Pharma

PARI Pharma focuses on the development of aerosol delivery devices and comprehensive inhalation drug development to advance aerosol therapies where drug and device can be optimized together. Based on PARI's 100-year history working with aerosols, PARI Pharma develops treatments for pulmonary and nasal administration customized with advanced delivery platforms, such as eFlow (lower respiratory) and Vibrent (upper respiratory) Technologies. PARI Pharma partners with pharmaceutical companies to develop new or improved therapies. PARI Pharma has several clinical development programs ongoing, either partnered or on its own, for cystic fibrosis, asthma, COPD, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection, and treatments for lung transplant patients among other indications. PARI Pharma, a PARI Medical Holding company, is located near Munich, Germany with a major presence in the United States. Online at

About Denver Zoo: Denver Zoo is home to 3,800 animals representing more than 650 species and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA accreditation assures the highest standards of animal care.

A leader in environmental action, Denver Zoo is dedicated to ensuring the safety of the environment in support of all species and is the first U.S. zoo to receive ISO 14001 certification for the entire facility and operations. This international certification ensures the zoo is attaining the highest environmental standards.

Since 1996, Denver Zoo has participated in 557 projects in 57 countries. In 2009 alone, Denver Zoo participated in 80 projects in 22 countries and 4 continents, and more than $1 million in funds was spent by the zoo in support of animal conservation in the field. 

SOURCE Denver Zoo; PARI Pharma
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