First patients suffering from severe emphysema treated with InterVapor

27 January 2012

The first commercial use of Uptake Medical's InterVapor, a system for endoscopic lung volume reduction in patients with severe emphysema, was made in Germany last November.

The patient successfully underwent treatment with InterVapor, an endoscopic lung volume reduction system for the treatment of severe emphysema that uses the body’s natural healing processes without leaving foreign materials in the lung. The patient was treated by the team at the Thoraxklinik in Heidelberg, Germany, which is led by Professor Dr Felix Herth and is recognized as a leading institution for pioneering new therapeutic options for people with emphysema.

“As investigators in the VAPOR trial, we observed the benefits our patients received from InterVapor and we are pleased to be selected to introduce InterVapor,” commented Professor Dr. Felix Herth, chief, Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Thoraxklinik Heidelberg. “It is particularly fitting that the first patient case has taken place in November, which marks COPD Awareness month, as InterVapor offers a new treatment option for patients who are looking for relief from their emphysema.”

Uptake Medical announced on 9 Jan this year that it had closed on a Series C funding round. The round was led by Singapore-based Crescent Point Group, with existing investors, Maverick Capital, ONSET Ventures, GBS Venture Partners, WRF Capital, Arboretum Ventures and Affinity Capital, making additional investments. Sami Sindi, Crescent Point managing partner, will join the Uptake Medical board of directors. Moelis & Company acted as financial advisor to the company in connection with the funding.

The company received CE mark approval for InterVapor in September  and recently announced TGA approval for InterVapor to be marketed in Australia.

R. King Nelson, president and chief executive officer of Uptake Medical, commented, “Finalizing this very successful round of financing represents another positive step for Uptake Medical. We are thrilled with the addition of Crescent Point to our board and we are equally pleased that our current investors remain committed to Uptake Medical as we continue the commercialization of InterVapor.”

About emphysema/COPD

Emphysema is a progressive disease in which the lungs are permanently damaged. This leads to a condition called hyperinflation, which impacts breathing function and forces patients to take short, shallow breaths, severely impacting quality of life. The InterVapor System directly induces reduction of hyperinflation, a problem for patients with severe emphysema. It is a non-surgical procedure which treats hyperinflated parts of the lungs with heated water vapor, and triggers the body’s natural healing process, gradually reducing the treated portion of the lungs and increasing the ability to breathe more fully.

Unlike other approaches to lung volume reduction, InterVapor does not leave foreign materials in the lung, which may require additional procedures for adjustment or removal. Results from the VAPOR trial demonstrated clinically significant improvements in lung function and quality of life for patients with severe emphysema.

The global incidence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which includes emphysema, is on the rise and will become the third leading cause of death by 2030. In the US, where nearly 5 million people are diagnosed with emphysema, it already holds this position with one person dying every 4 minutes from COPD. Debilitating and costly, nearly $50 billion was spent addressing the direct and indirect costs associated with COPD in the U.S. in 2010.

Source: Uptake Medical

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