The U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has updated its guidelines to include endobronchial valves as an appropriate routine treatment for severe emphysema, an advanced form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
In the U.K., approximately 400,000 people live with emphysema, a condition characterized by damage to the air sacs in the lungs that allows air to escape.
Zephyr EBVs are small, minimally-invasive valves placed in the airways of the lungs that block the damaged regions. This allows the healthy lung regions to work more efficiently, and leads to improved breathing and a better quality of life for the patient.
“In light of the high burden of symptoms, progressive nature of emphysema and poor prognosis for patients, the NICE decision means that patients with severe emphysema should be referred to specialists to determine if they are good candidates for endobronchial valves or other interventions,” Pallav Shah, MD, respiratory medicine physician at Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospital and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, said in a press release.
Four randomized clinical trials were conducted to determine the safety and effectiveness of Zephyr EBV. Results from these studies garnered significant evidence that Zephyr EBV improves lung function, exercise tolerance and quality of life in emphysema patients with no collateral ventilation.
Zephyr EBVs have been implanted in more than 12,000 patients worldwide over the past 10 years. They are used routinely in both Europe and Australia as a treatment for severe emphysema. Recently, the Dutch government announced that EBVs are an effective treatment in adult patients with severe emphysema and that the treatment costs will be covered by the government.
The device also has been included in international guidelines as an acceptable treatment method, including in the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines.
“These decisions will increase patient access to our proven and minimally-invasive Zephyr technology, which has the potential to significantly improve the quality of life for patients,” said Glen French, Pulmonx CEO.