SOURCE: Asthmatx

May 22, 2007 08:25 ET

A New Outpatient Procedure for Asthma

Comprehensive Procedural Review of Bronchial Thermoplasty Published and Presented at the American Thoracic Society Conference

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 22, 2007 -- Asthmatx, Inc., a medical device company that has developed a catheter-based procedure for the treatment of asthma, announced today the American Association for Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology (AAB) publication of a comprehensive procedural review of bronchial thermoplasty in the April issue of the Journal of Bronchology. Bronchial Thermoplasty is an innovative non-drug treatment for asthma under clinical investigation in the United States. The minimally invasive, bronchoscopic procedure uses thermal energy to reduce the airway smooth muscle responsible for constriction in asthma patients. The publication entitled, "Clinical Pearls for Bronchial Thermoplasty," includes a detailed description of the bronchial thermoplasty procedure, patient selection, and updated patient management protocols suggested to optimize clinical outcomes and patient safety.

The article is authored by leading pulmonologists with significant experience in performing interventional bronchoscopy procedures. The authors are also investigators in prior and ongoing clinical trials of bronchial thermoplasty, which is an investigational device in the United States. They describe in detail their technique for bronchial thermoplasty and highlight the importance of bronchoscopy experience, careful patient selection, patient preparation, patient management, and post-procedure follow-up.

"Bronchial thermoplasty is performed under conscious sedation and typically results in a bronchoscopy that is longer in duration than most routine bronchoscopies, so effective patient management is critical to maximize patient comfort and safety," explains Martin L. Mayse, MD, Assistant Professor at the Washington University School of Medicine and Asthma Center and lead author on the article. "Results from previous clinical trials of bronchial thermoplasty in patients with asthma have been promising. We hope that with proper patient care protocols, bronchial thermoplasty may become a new option for patients with difficult to treat asthma."

The techniques outlined in the publication were presented today at the annual scientific assembly of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) by Dr. Mayse, in a seminar entitled, "Bronchial Thermoplasty: How I Do It." Additionally, bronchial thermoplasty was featured in a second seminar today entitled, "Safety of Bronchial Thermoplasty for Asthma," which was presented by Michel Laviolette, MD, of Hôpital Laval and Laval University, Quebec, Canada. Both seminars focused on recommendations for improving patient comfort and minimizing patient risks, and highlighted the importance of:

--  Proper patient selection,
--  A systematic approach to the procedure,
--  Effective patient management, and
--  Appropriate post-procedure follow-up
    
This publication and presentation follows the recent publication of clinical study data in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), which reported that patients treated with bronchial thermoplasty, as compared to a control group, demonstrated a decrease in asthma attacks, a reduction in rescue medication use, an increase in days with no asthma symptoms, an improvement in pulmonary function, an improvement in asthma-related quality of life, and an improvement in asthma control.

The NEJM publication also reported that in the period immediately following bronchial thermoplasty, there was an expected increase and worsening of respiratory-related symptoms such as breathlessness, wheeze, cough, chest discomfort, night awakenings, and productive cough. These symptoms were of the type expected following bronchoscopy in patients with asthma, and resolved on average within 7 days with either no therapy or with standard medical care. The frequency and types of respiratory-related adverse events were similar in both groups from 6 weeks after the treatment out to one year.

"We are very pleased with these recent clinical reports and the growing interest in the physician community for bronchial thermoplasty," states Glen French, CEO of Asthmatx. "This publication is a testament to the growing experience base with bronchial thermoplasty here in the United States, and our continued efforts to collaborate with investigators to improve all aspects of this innovative procedure."

Bronchial thermoplasty is an innovative non-drug procedure for asthma. For more information on this publication please visit http://www.bronchology.com

Current Research of Bronchial Thermoplasty

If you have asthma, are between 18 and 70 years of age, are a non-smoker, and take medication daily to help control your asthma, you may be eligible to participate in a future bronchial thermoplasty clinical study. For more information on participation, please call the following toll-free number: (866) 400-2472 or visit www.bronchialthermoplasty.com.

CAUTION: Alair System is an Investigational Device. It is limited by United States law to investigational use. To be used by Qualified Investigators only.

Alair is a registered trademark of Asthmatx, Inc.

About Asthmatx:

Asthmatx is developing catheter-based medical devices for the treatment of asthma. Asthmatx has developed the Alair System to perform an investigational outpatient procedure called bronchial thermoplasty. Bronchial thermoplasty involves the delivery of precisely controlled thermal energy to the airway wall, to reduce the amount of airway smooth muscle, and lessen these muscles' ability to narrow the airway. The Alair System from Asthmatx was recently awarded "Best of 2006" by Popular Science Magazine and Bronchial Thermoplasty was named one of the "Top Ten Medical Innovations for 2007" by the prestigious Cleveland Clinic. For more information on Asthmatx visit www.asthmatx.com. The Alair System has received a CE Mark to sell the device in the European Union.

Contact Information