Philips Acquires Airway Clearance Device Maker RespirTech and Expands COPD Therapeutic Portfolio

Patrícia Silva, PhD avatar

by Patrícia Silva, PhD |

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Dutch healthcare conglomerate Royal Philips has purchased RespirTech, a leading manufacturer of airway clearance therapy vests for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other severe lung conditions.

With this new acquisition, Philips expands its respiratory care portfolio, strengthening its presence in the hospital and home care markets —  especially for patients with COPD. The deal, whose price was not disclosed, should be completed in the coming months.

Smart inhaler devices are part of a new wave of digital technology to help patients manage lung diseases. They are being gradually incorporated into the treatment of COPD and asthma. RespirTech’s inCourage system, for example, is aimed at mproving the quality of life of patients suffering from COPD and other conditions affecting the airways and lungs, such as bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis.

The system uses high-frequency chest compression (HFCC), in which air is pressurized, creating compressions that loosen and mobilize accumulated mucus, leading to its removal from lungs and respiratory airways. The system uses an inflatable vest attached to a compressor device.

RespirTech, based in St. Paul, Minnesota, also offers single patient-use ClearChest comfort vests and bands used in hospitals. The rhythmic inflation and deflation of these vests against the patient’s chest help clear the lungs. The company offers a robust clinical support program for managing respiratory patients at home.

“With this transaction, we will broaden our portfolio with a proven therapy to enable patients with chronic respiratory disorders manage their condition and receive the care they need in the home,” John Frank of Philips’ sleep and respiratory care unit said in a press release. “RespirTech’s vest therapy can be applied to a range of respiratory conditions and various neuromuscular diseases, where patients’ compromised abilities to cough often leads to serious respiratory complications and associated higher care costs. By helping these patients help themselves, we aim to enhance the patient’s quality of life and reduce the overall cost of care.”