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11 Patents for New Sleep Apnea Implant Technology

Fri, 11/08/2013 - 10:46am
Nyxoah

Nyxoah, a Belgian-Israeli start-up company that develops a tiny implant for treating sleep apnea and snoring, has announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is issuing 11 patents for Nyxoah's obstructive sleep apnea technology.

The first eight granted patents were published today on the USPTO website. Three more granted patents will be published in the coming weeks.  

One out of every five adults over the age of 40 suffers from some degree of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can lead to hypertension, obesity, heart disease and stroke. OSA occurs when the tongue muscle relaxes during sleep, causing the tongue to fall back into the throat, blocking airflow. Nyxoah developed an innovative ultra-small implant that stimulates the tongue muscle to prevent airway blockage. In a short outpatient procedure, a flexible implant the size of a coin and thinner than a few sheets of paper is inserted under a patient's chin with a minimally invasive small incision. Then, before bed each night, the patient places a disposable adhesive battery patch on the underside of the chin, to wirelessly deliver energy to the nerves around the tongue throughout the night, completely preventing airway blockage during the night's sleep.

"The company initiated first-in-man studies, and the fact that we were able to so quickly protect the technology with a portfolio of patents adds significantly to the promise of this company," said Robert Taub, one of Nyxoah's co-founders.  

Dr. Adi Mashiach, Nyxoah's other co-founder, CEO, and inventor elaborated, "There are many groundbreaking aspects to our solution. Being able to stimulate the tongue muscle all night using a small disposable battery patch is a major innovation. And our ability to enable minimally invasive implantation in a quick outpatient setting should open the procedure to a significant percentage of the affected population. The fact that 11 patents were allowed less than a year from the date we filed them, is a testament to the uniqueness of our solution."  

Gerson Panitch, the patent lawyer at Finnegan who developed Nyxoah's IP strategy agrees. "Through careful strategic patent planning, we isolated dozens of critical features, and then pursued those strategies most likely to protect the company's value," Panitch explained. "The patents are designed to work together, providing a web of protection for Nyxoah. Eleven U.S. patents may seem like a lot to receive all at once, but there are many more in the pipeline," Panitch added.

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