Jul 19, 2016 | By Tess

If you are one of 12 million chronic sufferers of sleep apnoea in the United States and have yet to find a suitable remedy, you may soon be in luck. Oventus Medical, the Australian company responsible for developing a 3D printed sleep apnoea device, is expecting to soon break into the American market after having a successful start on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

The company, which recently received clearance for its O2Vent, a 3D printed titanium mouth guard designed to prevent sleep apnoea and even snoring, from the US Food and Drug Administration is expecting to bring the innovative product to the US later this year. The company also recently launched an initial public offer (IPO), through which it raised an impressive $12 million.

The Brisbane-based company initially issued 24 million shares at 50 cents a share, which opened on the market this Tuesday at 60 cents a share. Impressively, by late afternoon the same day, the shares had risen by 38% over their initial listing price to 69 cents a share. At this rate per share, Oventus has a valuation of $49 million.

Dr. Chris Hart, Oventus’ founder and the developer of the O2Vent, has retained a 36.3 per cent stake in the group post-listing. His innovative device could be the answer to the millions of people both in Australia and in the United States who suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea, a condition which causes the sleeper’s airway to be blocked resulting in shallow breathing or long breathing pauses and more often than not, snoring. In fact, a clinical study in Australia showed that the 3D printed mouth-guard type device was completely successful in eliminating snoring or breathing problems in 82% of cases.

The O2Vent was prototyped and developed in collaboration with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), who gave the company access to their 3D printing facility, Lab 22. Lab 22 is set up specifically to make additive manufacturing more accessible to Australian startups and companies to help them bring their products to life. In the case of Oventus Medical’s trajectory, it seems to have worked.

The O2Vent itself is a 3D printed titanium mandibular device, which combats breathing obstructions by allowing air passage through a duckbill that extends from the sleeper’s lips and effectively created an airway that opens access directly to the back of the mouth, bypassing any obstructions from the nose, tongue, or mouth. With the manufacturing flexibility afforded by 3D printing and modelling technologies, each O2Vent can be custom fitted to the user for maximal comfort.

With their breakthrough O2Vent, Oventus Medical is hoping to become a reliable supplier of sleep apnoea and snoring treatments on a global scale. As the product is expected to release onto the U.S. market soon, the potential for global expansion also seems imminent.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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