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SAUSALITO, Calif., Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Sanovas, Inc., a life science technology company focused on developing and commercializing the next-generation of micro-invasive diagnostics, devices, and drug delivery technologies, and the World Association of Bronchology & Interventional Pulmonology (WABIP) today announced that they have launched a joint research project entitled "The Breathing Innovation Survey - We Are Listening." The global initiative, being conducted via multiple surveys over the next year, will gauge the needs, opinions, preferences and insights of more than 15,000 thoracic surgeons, interventional pulmonologists, and broncho-esophageal specialists.

"Providing truly innovative patient care requires that we, in the medical community, work together across specialties to prevent and treat disease particularly in the area of chronic pulmonary diseases, which affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide," said Dr. Henri Colt, M.D, Chairman of WABIP.

The one-year study will acquire and aggregate a host of data sets about the causes, distribution, and control of chronic pulmonary diseases, and is expected to provide vital physician preference and human factors data. The data will be made publicly available to researchers throughout the next few years for the purpose of advancing best practices and innovating treatment solutions that may serve to stem the global epidemic of chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, cystic fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension and lung cancer.

According to the World Health Organization, hundreds of millions of people worldwide suffer daily from the effects of chronic respiratory disease, including 235 million people who have asthma and 64 million who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Lung cancer alone kills more than one million people annually.

"This survey will be the first to gather extensive data across specialties about physician practice, demographic trends and treatment protocols. We expect to gain valuable insights that will directly impact treatment innovation and patient care, " said Sanovas President and CEO Larry Gerrans.

Limitations in technology and high levels of procedural risk have stymied early detection and treatment of respiratory diseases. Clinical improvements in diagnosis and intervention have long been critically needed to improve all aspects of the pulmonary science. A focus of the Breathing Innovation Survey is to advance the development of effective, economically viable solutions that may serve to improve patient care, at the local level and globally.

"As a company committed to creating highly capable, inexpensive and easy-to-use technologies for treating pulmonary disease at the bedside, whether it be in a remote village or an urban hub, Sanovas believes that these treatment limitations can be overcome," Gerrans said. "We are entering a new era where miniaturization, personalized medicine and cost efficient technologies are making what was impossible yesterday a reality today."

About WABIP

The World Association of Bronchology & Interventional Pulmonology (WABIP) is a not-for-profit medical association with central offices registered in Japan. Its role is to serve as an umbrella organization that unites national and regional bronchology associations and groups with a common purpose of enhancing patient care, research and education in bronchology and related fields.

About Sanovas

Sanovas, Inc., based in Sausalito, Calif., is a life science technology company focused on developing and commercializing next-generation micro-invasive diagnostics, devices, and drug delivery technologies for unmet clinical needs.

Sanovas' microsurgical technology platform is designed to give surgeons the ability to access and visualize previously inaccessible areas of the body, enabling them to diagnose, treat and deliver drug and immune therapies to small diameter anatomy in entirely new ways. Privately held, Sanovas was founded by the pioneers in minimally invasive surgery. The company has more than 45 multi-national patents and patents pending.

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Company Focus: Redefining Intervention

Sanovas is redefining intervention with access, imaging, and measurement technologies that enable physicians to perform MORE interventional procedures, in MORE places, MORE affordably. The company is dedicated to developing the full continuum of best-in-class minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic technologies and solutions that are affordable, accessible, and safe across multiple procedures and specialty areas.

For physicians and their patients around the world, Sanovas interventional technologies will improve access to advanced minimally invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in millions of healthcare facilities and practices:

  • Enabling safe, reliable working access in small and previously inaccessible anatomic spaces.
  • Making visualization and imaging technologies portable, versatile, and more affordable to hospitals and healthcare facilities globally.
  • Enabling advanced local diagnostic and therapeutic interventions throughout the body.
  • Leveraging core platform micro technologies across multiple medical specialties.

In summary, Sanovas is a company solving big healthcare market access, safety, quality, and cost problems while growing the minimally invasive interventions market. Working with physicians and hospital executives, Sanovas is leading the way in making minimally invasive interventions more accessible, affordable, and safe around the world. 

Taking AIM At Making Interventions More Accessible, Affordable, and Safe

Minimally Invasive Surgery (MIS), the ability to perform medical interventions through small “key holes” versus large, open incisions, has flourished over the past 20 years. Now however, the necessity to go farther and do more has created the opportunity for innovation and technology to redefine MIS and to make what is now possible accessible, affordable, and safe for more people.

Sanovas’ core micro technology platform is built on the principal of improving the AIM – Access, Imaging, and Measurement – of physicians performing diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. As a result of our adherence to the AIM principal, our portfolio provides physicians and hospitals with the ability to:

  • Access Accessing remote small diameter and challenging anatomies that were previously inaccessible
  • Imaging Visualizing anatomies in new, innovative ways that enables safe procedures and dramatically reduces the costs associated with endoscopy and procedural visualization
  • Measurement Enabling physicians with the physiologic intelligence of the anatomy and related pathology to understand and control the procedural environment in small anatomic spaces
  • Diagnostics Making diagnostic procedures in challenging anatomies safe and accessible and reducing cost and complexity to expand access to advanced diagnostic procedures for millions of people in healthcare facilities worldwide
  • Therapeutics Providing physicians with ‘patient friendly’ tools to provide advanced local therapies in challenging anatomies and to reduce toxicity and risks associated with conventional surgery or chemical therapies

It is estimated that millions more healthcare providers will be able to affordably offer diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for their communities because of Sanovas’ platform micro technologies. For example, scopes, cameras and other devices made with MicroCam Imaging™ technology are projected to reduce endoscopy costs by up to 80% and eliminate as much as 90% of the associated capital equipment requirements for hospitals and healthcare facilities.

And, Sanovas access, imaging, and measurement technologies will enable physicians to safely perform advanced, multi-instrument and multi-modal diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in previously inaccessible anatomies. These procedures will make localized, interventional treatments for lung cancer and other serious diseases available to millions of people – reducing the need for open surgeries and treatments that create systemic toxicity.

Meeting One Challenge Led To A World Of Solutions

Sanovas’ was founded with the humanitarian inspiration to treat and cure Lung Cancer and related pulmonary diseases. The genesis for this inspiration was rooted in the real life experiences of Sanovas’ Founder, Larry Gerrans, who relates “I watched my teammate in elementary school almost die from an Asthma attack. I can’t remember my grandmother without an oxygen hose in her nose, and she rarely left her house. I lost my best friend’s Mom, who was a surrogate mother to me, to Lung Cancer within days of her diagnosis. I never got the chance to say goodbye to her.”

Through the discovery process of creating the solutions required to diagnose and treat the lungs, it was found that an integrated set of tools and a systems based approach was required. And, the Sanovas team determined that these technologies had application across a range of disease states and medical specialties.

“We learned that the lungs have long been recognized as the last frontier in interventional medicine,” explains Larry. “This is due to the complexity of their small airways, and the fact that they cannot be ‘turned off’ to be repaired. “Consequently, doctors must operate on a live, breathing anatomy. This is analogous to being repelled into the mouth of an angry volcano where you have hot lava (i.e., blood and mucous) spewing at you,” says Larry, “where hot air is rushing at you from below while cold air is coming down from above, creating a foggy atmosphere that is tough to see through. “What’s even worse is that in the small, tight spaces of the bronchioles the airway walls are constantly moving in and out, creating motion artifact that can give the doctor spatial nausea, vertigo and motion sickness,” Larry adds. These lessons learned in developing technologies that will work in the lungs, will have significant application in challenging vasculatures and other tubular anatomies.

“A sick lung is tough terrain and a hostile environment. Regrettably, as a result, most people with complex airways have long been sent home or to hospice. But this is all about to change,” says Larry. “Industry and government are converging on interventional pulmonology, a relatively new field in pulmonary medicine. We are making it a national priority, and we are going to get this right. The impact of chronic non-communicable pulmonary disease on the US GDP is colossal. We are going to lessen that impact…and more.”

Why Interventions Need To Be Redefined

Medical interventions, the ability to access the body without surgery to diagnose and treat, have flourished in the past few decades. Now, however; opportunity and necessity have combined to redefine what is possible through interventions and to make what is possible accessible, affordable, and safe for more people.

It is estimated that millions more healthcare providers will be able to affordably offer diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for their communities because of Sanovas' platform micro technologies. For example: scopes, cameras, and other devices made with MicroCamTM Imaging technology are projected to reduce endoscopy costs by up to 80% and eliminate as much as 90% of the associated capital equipment requirements for hospitals and healthcare facilities.

And, Sanovas access, imaging, and measurement technologies will enable physicians to safely perform advanced, multi-instrument and multi-modal diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in previously inaccessible anatomies. These procedures will make localized, interventional treatments for lung cancer and other serious diseases available to millions of people - reducing the need for open surgeries and treatments that create systemic toxicity.

Core Micro Technologies

The Sanovas product portfolio is built on a platform of core micro technologies. These access, imaging, measurement, diagnostic, and therapeutic technologies have application across multiple products and medical specialties. The Sanovas core micro technologies contribute to making advanced diagnostic and therapeutic interventions accessible, affordable, and safe in small anatomic spaces. These core micro technology platforms are:

  • ViaTM Working Channels
  • VasZeppelinTM Smart Catheters
  • MicroCamTM Imaging Technologies
  • StablePathTM Catheter Anchoring Technology
  • PhysioSenseTM Physiologic Measurement Systems
  • CytoVasTM Tissue Collection Technology
  • NanoVasTM Local Therapy Delivery Systems

Business Units

Sanovas' commercial business is segmented into business units that leverage cost-effective delivery of advanced diagnostic and therapeutic interventions enabled by our core micro technology platforms. Each business unit focuses on a specific target audience. These current business units are

  • Imaging Technologies: Excellent in-situ visualization for unprecedented access to small anatomic spaces, dramatic endoscopy-related cost reductions, and imaging in the non-visible spectrum to enable advanced diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.
  • Interventional Lung: Minimally invasive, localized advanced diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for a range of lung pathologies.
  • Interventional ENT: Minimally invasive, localized, advanced diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for a range of head and neck pathologies.
  • Interventional Uro & Gyn: Minimally invasive, localized, advanced diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for a range of urologic and gynecologic pathologies.
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FDA REGULATORY DISCLOSURE:
Sanovas Inc. is an emerging technology company. These products are investigational medical devices that have not been approved or cleared for use in the United States.