SOURCE: ApniCure Inc.

ApniCure Inc.

December 06, 2016 10:00 ET

Winx Sleep Therapy System Now Available Directly to the Millions of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Sufferers Who Can't or Won't Use CPAP

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwired - December 06, 2016) - ApniCure, which makes the Winx Sleep Therapy System for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), today announces that Winx is now available for direct purchase by consumers. Winx provides relief from obstructive sleep apnea without a mask and is designed specifically for the half of sleep apnea patients who can't or won't use a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine. FDA-cleared and previously available only in select sleep labs, Winx is currently available to consumers in California due to initial high demand, but will be available with broader national distribution in 2017.

Obstructive sleep apnea affects 20+ million Americans every year, and complications linked to the condition have tied it to deaths, accidents, chronic illness and loss of productivity. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), obstructive sleep apnea is a serious, chronic medical condition that increases patients' risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, irregular heartbeats, obesity, diabetes, and work-related or driving accidents. The primary therapy for decades has been CPAP -- but half the patients who are prescribed CPAP stop using it in the first year because it is intrusive, uncomfortable, and loud, making sleep harder instead of easier for both sufferers and their partners. Many patients say they feel they are being punished, rather than treated, for their disease. The result is that millions of obstructive sleep apnea patients who were prescribed CPAP but don't use it end up suffering without treatment.

"Many patients who stop using their CPAP machine don't go back to their sleep doctor or lab," said Matt Vaska, Co-founder and CEO of ApniCure. "As a result, they don't learn about alternatives to CPAP like Winx, which is so new that many doctors aren't familiar with it. So, we've decided to market Winx directly to consumers and offer to connect them with independent board-certified sleep medicine physicians who will consult with them via telemedicine -- an online video appointment -- to see if the patient's condition merits a prescription for Winx or another treatment. New technology -- both Winx and the convenience of telemedicine -- can help millions of people who have given up on CPAP."

"For me, Winx is the first sleep apnea treatment that worked completely and I've been able to stick with," said Craig Thralls, a Winx user since 2013. "Sleep apnea isn't just an aggravating snoring situation. It is a dangerous condition that can cause accidents due to lack of sleep, and tragically for my brother, death. He had used CPAP for years but complained about it all the time, mostly that it was uncomfortable. I know he didn't use it like he should and as a result placed himself at risk every time he fell asleep without it."

"As a doctor who has treated thousands of patients suffering from obstructive sleep apnea by prescribing the first-line therapy of CPAP, I have been disappointed that many of my patients cannot tolerate it or stop using it eventually," said Dr. Haramandeep Singh, a board-certified sleep medicine physician. "Winx is a refreshing alternative to CPAP that solves many of the challenges patients have with CPAP, so I recommend it as an excellent alternative treatment to try."

The Winx Sleep Therapy System is a clinically proven, no-mask solution that is so small, silent and comfortable that patients can quietly treat their obstructive sleep apnea for life -- sleeping and feeling better. Winx uses a new class of treatment called Oral Pressure Therapy (OPT). Instead of delivering forced air through a mask like CPAP, Winx delivers a light vacuum through a soft, flexible mouthpiece that fits comfortably in the mouth. The mouthpiece is connected to the Winx console by a very slim tube. Winx keeps the airway open during sleep by gently drawing the soft palate forward and stabilizing the tongue. 86% of Winx users experienced improvement in their obstructive sleep apnea, with 58% of them either much improved or very much improved, according to assessments by their physicians in recent clinical trials. 41% were fully treated per FDA criteria and 76% of trial participants said they would use Winx to treat their sleep apnea.*

For more information on the Winx Sleep Therapy System, please visit www.winxsleepsolution.com.

About ApniCure
ApniCure was co-founded in December 2007 by medical device veteran Matt Vaska, who invented this technology after his father was diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and found it impossible to tolerate CPAP.

The Winx® Sleep Therapy System is an innovative treatment option for adults with mild, moderate, and severe OSA, designed without the inconvenience of a mask. The Winx system uses a proprietary platform technology called Oral Pressure Therapy (OPT) to treat OSA. Using OPT, Winx gently draws the soft palate forward and stabilizes the tongue to actively open the airway for uninterrupted breathing during sleep.

* Sleep Medicine, Volume 14, Issue 9, September 2013, Pages 830-837

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