• Oventus Medical Ltd is another step closer to ending the scourges of snoring and sleep apnoea with its3D printed mouthguards.

    A successful IPO on the Australian Stock Exchange last month raised $12 million. The company has now reported first year revenues of $540,164 and that shows a real appetite for a relatively simple device that can change lives around the world.

    Oventus can now focus on developing the second generation O2Vent T system with its partner, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Melbourne, Australia.

    Now the US Food and Drug Administration has cleared the company’s O2Vent Mono device for distribution on US soil and it has already put in an application for the O2Vent T. It has also introduced the new device in Australia and started clinical trials with 40 patients to work on safety, comfort and efficiency.

    Oventus has established a production facility for the polymer packaging and inserts, as well as a titanium 3D printing center at CSIRO. The deal with CSIRO goes beyond 3D printing, as the research organization has provided a Scientific Advisory Committee of consultants specializing in sleep, dentistry and ear, nose and throat medicine.

    The concept of O2Vent is relatively simple, but Oventus still needs to study any potential side effects and perfect the product.

    The Brisbane-based company produces tailored, 3D printed gumshields with a titanium ‘duckbill’ in the front that’s tailored to each patient’s mouth. It ensures a steady flow of air gets past the tongue and other potential blockages, which gives sufferers a better night’s sleep.

    Every mouthpiece is tailored to the patient, thanks largely to the 3D printing process that removes economies of scale from the equation. That means the consultant can position the jaw to maintain the best possible airflow, while the company can also change the shape and length of the mouthpiece to ensure it clears the sufferer’s lips.

    Oventus claims it has significantly reduced snoring in 82% following a clinical trial in Australia. It also claims that the O2Vent system is just as effective as the more expensive Continuous Positive Airway Pressure systems that use a mask and a pump.

    CEO Neil Horan said: “The Company’s devices are 3D printed and feature a unique airway that channels air to the back of the throat, bypassing oral obstructions that cause sleep apnoea and snoring. We have established state of the art systems and processes that will drive growth for the company going forward.”

    Sleep apnoea is a common condition and 4% of men and 2% of women in the US have been officially diagnosed. Some sources suggest there are 12 million sleep apnoea sufferers in the US alone and many of them simply don’t know they are affected. Snoring is a warning sign and in severe cases it can have devastating consequences on its own.

    The walls of the throat narrow and effectively collapse with severe sleep apnoea, blocking the airway for more than 10 seconds at a time. In the worst cases, it can strike every few minutes and can seriously impact on a sufferer’s sleep patterns.

    When the Oxygen is cut off then your body sends an impulse to the brain to drag you out of deep sleep, which causes the airway to reopen. Sufferers might not even know about these constant interruptions to their REM sleep, but they feel the effects the next day.

    Long term sleep apnoea comes with far reaching implications. It makes people more susceptible to hypertension, strokes, heart attacks and other problems that include type 2 diabetes and atrial fibrillation.

    So if a simple, patented device like the O2Vent can help manage their condition and give them a good night’s sleep, then Oventus can look forward to a bright future and massive sales.



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