First patient implanted with Sequana Medical's pump to remove excess lung fluid

27 November 2014

Zurich-based Sequana Medical AG has announced that the first patient has been implanted with its pump to remove excess fluid around the lungs.

 A patient at Hôpital Nord, Marseille, France, was implanted with the company's pleurapump system designed to manage chronic pleural effusions in patients with conditions such as congestive heart failure, pneumonia, or liver disease.

The patient is the first to be enrolled in the Company’s ADEPT study, which will assess the feasibility of this new therapy for management of pleural effusions.

The pleurapump system is a fully implantable battery-powered pump system that automatically and continually moves chronic pleural effusions from the pleural space around the lungs to the bladder, where it is passed naturally from the body. The system is designed to manage fluid balance within the body which helps patients live more independently, improves patient quality of life and reduces health care costs.

The most common causes of pleural effusions are congestive heart failure, pneumonia, liver disease, end-stage renal disease and cancer. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, fever and cough. Pleural effusions are managed with medication in most cases, but with certain cancers, chronic effusions are difficult to control.

Current treatments include drainage of fluid using in-dwelling catheters or pleurodesis, a sometimes painful procedure in which the membranes around the lungs are fused together, preventing further accumulation of fluid but leading to a few days of hospitalisation. It is estimated that more than 300,000 patients are affected by malignant pleural effusions in the US and Europe each year.

Doctors are excited about this potential new treatment option. Prof. Philippe Astoul, Head of the Department of Thoracic Oncology, Pleural Disease and Interventional Pneumology at Hôpital Nord, Marseille, and Dr Sophie Laroumagne, investigators in the ADEPT study said: "Use of the pleurapump system in patients with malignancy-related pleural effusions looks very promising, and could help patients improve their quality of life at a very challenging stage of their disease progression. We are delighted that Hôpital Nord is leading the way in making this solution available to many thousands of patients in the future.

"Our patient has now had the pump for over a month, is doing very well, and has reported an improvement in quality of life and high level of satisfaction with the pump system. The system is very promising and we are looking forward to the completion of the study."

Sequana Medical’s CEO, Noel L. Johnson said, "I am delighted that the ADEPT study is underway, and that patients affected with pleural effusions will soon be able to benefit from Sequana Medical’s innovative technology for the management of fluid within the body. Sequana Medical’s first product, the alfapump system, was developed for the management of refractory ascites in cirrhotic patients. Since its introduction in 2012, this pioneering therapy has demonstrated improved clinical outcomes, reduced the cost of healthcare and helped hundreds of patients improve their quality of life."

Source: Sequana Medical

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