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Millions granted to study sleep apnoea epidemic

8 February 2017

Oventus Medical has won a three million dollar Federal Government grant to continue research into the growing epidemic of sleep apnoea.

The Brisbane-based company was yesterday awarded $2,950,000 over three years for the project, “Targeted therapy for sleep apnoea: A novel personalised approach”.

Oventus will be lead participant in the study to look at ways to improve sleep apnoea monitoring and treatments in collaboration with some of Australia’s leading researchers.

More than 1.5 million Australians suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) and its many effects including high blood pressure, stroke, irregular heartbeat and diabetes.

Oventus founder and clinical director Dr Chris Hart said the study would change the paradigm of care for patients with OSA.

“There is a large, global opportunity for easier, better and more personalised therapy for people with sleep apnoea,” Dr Hart said.

“The grant will focus on new technologies evaluated in our recently completed pilot trial which show our appliances with their unique, separate airway, may be a viable alternative to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy.”

Dr Hart said many OSA sufferers could not tolerate CPAP. Oventus’ solution is the revolutionary O2VentTM T, a 3D printed oral device with a patented, built-in airway.

“This research may provide innovative solutions to solve the challenges of CPAP, potentially increasing the number of patients that can be treated with the Oventus solutions,” he said.

The grant was awarded under the Cooperative Research Centers (CRC) Programme, within the federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Associate Professor Danny Eckert, of study partner Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), said the collaboration allows a multidisciplinary, innovative approach to advance much-needed new lines of therapy for this common, debilitating disorder.

“Untreated, severe OSA is a dangerous disease which can have serious, potentially life-threatening health implications,” Dr Eckert said.

The CRC Programme is a competitive, merit-based grant programme that supports industry-led and outcome-focused collaborative research partnerships between industry, researchers and the community.

Oventus continues its global rollout, launching in the United States in January and earlier this month taking on the lucrative Chinese market with a partnership to deliver its cutting edge technology to that region’s estimated 70 million sufferers of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).

About Oventus

Oventus is a Brisbane based medical device company that is commercialising a suite of oral appliances for the treatment of sleep apnoea and snoring. Unlike other oral appliances, the Oventus devices have a unique and patented airway within the device that delivers air to the back of the mouth whilst alleviating multiple sites of obstruction including the nose, soft palate and tongue. They are particularly designed for the many people that have nasal obstructions and consequently tend to mainly breathe through their mouth. While it may seem counterintuitive, the device actually prevents oral breathing. The O2VentTM T is designed to allow nasal breathing when the nose is unobstructed, but when obstruction is present; breathing is supplemented via the airways in the appliance. According to a report published by the Sleep Health Foundation Australia, an estimated 1.5 million Australians suffer with sleep disorders and more than half of these suffer with obstructive sleep apnea.1 Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the most definitive medical therapy for obstructive sleep apnoea, OSA, however many patients have difficulty tolerating CPAP2. Oral appliances have emerged as an alternative to CPAP for obstructive sleep apnoea treatment.3

1  Deloitte Access Economics. Reawakening Australia: the economic cost of sleep disorders in Australia, 2010. Canberra, Australia.

2  Beecroft, et al. Oral continuous positive airway pressure for sleep apnoea; effectiveness, patient preference, and adherence. Chest 124:2200–2208, 2003

3  Sutherland et al. Oral appliance treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea: An updated Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. February 2014.

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