SOURCE: Broncus Technologies

Broncus Technologies

November 02, 2009 09:00 ET

CHEST News: Broncus Technologies and Medico's Hirata Enter Into Exclusive Partnership for LungPoint™ and Yield™ Product Lines in Japan

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - November 2, 2009) - Broncus Technologies, Inc., a medical device company focused on developing and commercializing innovative solutions for lung diseases, announced today at the American College of Chest Physicians CHEST 2009 meeting that it has entered into an exclusive agreement with Medico's Hirata as the sole distributor of their LungPoint system and Yield catheters in Japan. LungPoint is a computer-assisted image-guided navigation system for the lungs and is used for planning and guiding bronchoscopic procedures. The Yield Mini Doppler Probe and Transbronchial Coring Needles are used to acquire tissue samples during bronchoscopy.

Japan is one of the major world markets for bronchoscopy procedures and, according to the latest data from the Japan Society for Respiratory Endoscopy (JSRE), close to 75,000 bronchoscopies are performed each year(1). Under terms of the agreement, Medico's Hirata will have the exclusive rights to market and sell LungPoint and Yield products throughout Japan.

"We are excited to secure the distribution rights to the LungPoint system and Yield catheters and believe that there is a large market for both products in Japan," states Masataka Hirata, President of Medico's Hirata. "We hope to enable Japanese pulmonologists and thoracic surgeons to perform more efficient and accurate bronchoscopies and reduce the need for their patients to have to undergo repeat or more invasive procedures."

Bronchoscopists face numerous challenges in the accurate diagnosis and staging of lung diseases. One difficulty is finding the route through the lung airways to the area of concern. Analogous to navigation systems used for driving, the LungPoint system allows physicians to select destinations and see the routes to get there. With this application the "destination" is a suspicious lung nodule or other abnormality in the lung and the "streets" are the lung airways. Once the best possible route is selected, the LungPoint system presents an animation of what the journey through the airways to the nodule will look like, providing physicians with a full visual guide. Upon successfully reaching the desired location in the airway, a tissue sample is traditionally collected using a needle that pierces the airway wall. The Mini Doppler catheter can detect blood flow behind the airway wall to help physicians avoid blood vessels during sampling while the Yield needles have unique coring tips to acquire samples for pathology.

"It's a great honor to be working with Medico's Hirata in Japan," states Cary Cole, President and CEO of Broncus Technologies. "Medico's Hirata has more than 90 years of experience serving Japanese physicians and hospitals and we're confident they'll do an exemplary job commercializing LungPoint and Yield."

About the LungPoint System

The LungPoint Procedure Planning and Virtual Bronchoscopic Navigation system is used to plan and guide bronchoscopic procedures such as lung biopsies and fiducial placements. The software gives the physician tools to look at the lungs and airways in two and three dimensions, resulting in more effective treatment planning. During bronchoscopy, the planned virtual path is registered with the bronchoscope video images, indicating to the physician the airway to follow.

The LungPoint system does not require any special fixtures or disposables and is based on advanced image processing methods that were developed over a 10 year period. It runs on off-the-shelf PCs and can be configured with treatment planning and/or procedure navigation software.

About Medico's Hirata

Founded in 1918 and headquartered in Osaka, Medico's Hirata Inc. has supplied numerous outstanding products and technologies to the field of medical care, and will continue to pursue our social mission of contributing to medical progress, based on our corporate philosophy "Learning and Dealing in Medical Care." In Japan, Medico's Hirata was one of the first companies to focus on catheter interventions and prioritize the development of minimally invasive devices for use in a wide range of fields such as tracheobronchial stents. The company has continued to grow in step with the evolution of new medical technologies, and is looking forward to expanding its minimally invasive treatment business in the lung diseases field.

About Broncus Technologies, Inc.

Broncus Technologies is a medical technology company focused on developing minimally-invasive medical devices for lung diseases, including lung cancer and emphysema. With LungPoint™, physicians plan bronchoscopic procedures and navigate to locations in the lungs accurately and quickly. Our line of Yield™ catheters are used to obtain tissue samples and detect blood vessels. Our patented treatment method, Airway Bypass using Exhale® Drug-Eluting Stents, is being investigated to determine if it can provide the first minimally-invasive treatment option for homogeneous, or diffuse, emphysema, the form of the disease experienced by the majority of emphysema patients.

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Editors Notes

For more information on LungPoint, the EASE Trial or Broncus Technologies, please contact Meghan Oreste at 617-823-1441 or

Broncus, LungPoint, Yield, and Exhale are trademarks of Broncus Technologies, Inc.

(1) See Bronchoscopy in Japan: a survey by the Japan Society for Respiratory Endoscopy in 2006.