A Medical Device Daily

Spiration (Redmond, Washington), a developer of devices designed to benefit patients with acute and chronic conditions of the lung, reported that its distributor, Olympus (Tokyo), has initiated the European launch of the company's IBV valve system.

The IBV valve system is a minimally invasive treatment that Spiration said has "diverse applications" for both acute and chronic conditions of the lung.

During the minimally invasive procedure, a catheter is passed through a bronchoscope to deploy the small umbrella-shaped valves into the airways of the lungs. The valves are designed to be easily removed via a similar procedure.

In Europe, the system has received CE-mark clearance for diseased and damaged lung, a broad indication that includes the treatment of emphysema and the resolution of air leaks, a complication that can occur following lung surgery or as a consequence of certain serious lung diseases.

Olympus initially is launching the IBV Valve to select European physicians and will broaden distribution to additional accounts in the coming months.

"I am excited that this new treatment option is now available in Europe, where there is a significant unmet need for minimally invasive approaches to improving quality of life for people with emphysema," said Vincent Ninane, MD, of St. Pierre Hospital (Brussels, Belgium), who presented information about the European study of the IBV Valve at the European Respiratory Society annual congress in Berlin. "Spiration's device holds promise for patients with this debilitating condition, many of whom do not respond well to current medical treatments or are not eligible for or elect not to undergo major surgery such as lung volume reduction or lung transplantation."

Earlier this year Spiration reported that it had granted Olympus and its distributors exclusive marketing and distribution rights for the IBV Valve System in 43 European countries, including the UK and countries belonging to the European Union, representing what it said is the broadest distribution arrangement for a bronchoscopic treatment for emphysema in Europe to date.

Spiration will manufacture the product.

"The European availability of the IBV Valve System is an exciting milestone for Spiration," said president/CEO Rick Shea. "We are pleased by the positive reception from physicians at ERS and we look forward to working with Olympus to bring this important therapy to patients in Europe."

Daniel Sterman, MD, director of interventional pulmonology at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center (Philadelphia), presented an evaluation of the compassionate use of the IBV Valve System for the treatment of air leaks in six patients during this week's ERS congress.

4,300 exhibitors expected at MEDICA

The annual MEDICA trade fair is widely known as the world's largest medical exposition, but the 4,300 exhibitors expected at the 40th rendition of the event, scheduled for Nov. 19-22 at the fairgrounds in Dusseldorf, Germany, is mind-boggling nevertheless.

In addition to the aforesaid exhibitors who will be highlighting their products and services in exhibit hall after exhibit hall across the sprawling fairgrounds, MEDICA 2008 will feature two major congresses, an ancillary program and numerous special events, according to the organizer, Messe Dusseldorf.

Exhibit categories at MEDICA will include electromedical and laboratory equipment, medical technology, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and medical supplies as well as physiotherapy and orthopedic technology, communication and information technology, facility management, clothing, medical furniture, and equipment and building technology.

The exhibits will be complemented by the MEDICA Physiotherapy Forum; MEDICA MEDIA, a telemedicine forum; MEDICA MEET-IT, a user forum for IT solutions; MEDICA VISION, presentations of research institutes); the MEDICA Congress and the German Hospital Conference.

A special feature will be two U.S. pavilions, organized by Messe Dusseldorf North America. In one of the pavilions, laboratory equipment, reagents, in vitro/in vivo diagnostics, devices, systems and pharmaceuticals will be presented, while the other Pavilion will feature medical technology and electromedical equipment.

Wireless nanoLink products unveiled

IntriCon (Arden Hills, Minnesota), a manufacturer and distributor of body-worn medical and electronics devices, reported that it will introduce its new wireless nanoLink product family at the European Union of Hearing Aid Acousticians annual congress in Leipzig, Germany.

Part of the company's Bodyne wireless portfolio, nanoLink is a family of products based on new radio technology and circuitry developed by IntriCon. The company said nanoLink's "advanced capabilities and micro-miniature footprint enable wireless sensing and intra-device communication that's ideally suited for both the hearing health and medical markets."

President/CEO Mark Gorder said, "We're ... excited to introduce the new nanoLink product group, which is at the forefront of wireless radio technology. A key focus for IntriCon is working with our customers and continuing to invest in R&D based on their marketplace needs and nanoLink is the direct result of that strategy."

He added, "This product family will not only allow us to develop smaller, more advanced hearing health devices, but it also enables future medical applications including the bio-telemetry of critical diagnostic and therapeutic information. We currently have several experimental bio-telemetry projects under way."

Included in the product line are nanoLink Radio Module, which combines the high-speed nanoLink 405 MHz digital radio integrated circuit into a package with the Orela digital signal processor and a 256k-bit EEPROM memory that stores device critical information; and nanoLink Programming Adapter, a device that provides the capability to wirelessly program any hearing aid containing an IntriCon DSP amplifier from a Windows PC via the standard USB interface. The system consists of a hearing aid adapter unit and a PC adapter unit.

"By adding comprehensive wire capabilities to our portfolio, nanoLink further enhances the mobility and effectiveness of body-worn devices," Gorder said. "Beyond hearing health and medical, we intend to leverage this technology for our professional audio business, which focuses on security and emergency response needs, and hearing protection."