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Cyberonics invests in sleep apnea treatment

Wed, 10/05/2011 - 2:45pm
The Associated Press

Cyberonics Inc., a maker of implantable neurological devices, said Wednesday it made a $4 million investment in ImThera Medical, a San Diego-based medical device firm.

ImThera is developing an implant to treat obstructive sleep apnea, a condition that causes shallow breathing and can lead to chronic sleep disruption. ImThera's experimental neurostimulation device uses an electrode to control certain muscles of the tongue and clear air passageways. The company is pursuing approval for the device in the European Union and expects to soon begin clinical trials in the U.S.

Cyberonics' investment could grow to as much as $12 million pending certain regulatory and commercial milestones.

Cyberonics main product is an implantable stimulator that treats depression by sending electric signals through the vagus nerve in the neck.

Shares of Cyberonics fell 16 cents to close at $28.33 Wednesday.

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