Specialized medical device company Holaira, Inc. has just announced the start of treatment administration in the AIRFLOW-1 clinical trial for patients living with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) through a procedure called Targeted Lung Denervation (TLD). The first treatment was conducted at the Otto Wagner Spital in Vienna, Austria, under the care of Arschang Valipour, M.D., Ph.D., FCCP and Group Leader at the Ludwig-Boltzmann Institute for COPD and Respiratory Epidemiology in the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. According to him, the patient was a 72-year-old male diagnosed with COPD and tolerated the procedure quite well.
TLD is a one-time bronchoscopic procedure administered via the dNerva™ Dual Cooled RF Catheter. This novel catheter accurately delivers cooled radiofrequency in order to denervate parasympathetic activity in the lung. This results in relaxation of the affected lung, which reduces airway obstruction and dyspnea, and may potentially lead to long-term improvement.
Holaira’s CEO, Dr. Dennis Wahr, said that the launch of TLD treatments through the AIRFLOW-1 study is a company milestone as it fulfills the urgent needs of COPD patients while advancing clinical experience in some of the European Union’s leading pulmonary centers. This is a result of a year’s worth of intensive feasibility and safety studies, which showed significant breathing improvement, measured through exercise and daily activity tolerance.
While drug development is often seen as the first line of treatment for COPD and ganders the most attention in the media, advancements into how the disease is studied and understood is also crucial to advancing next-generation treatments. Recently, another technological advancement for better understanding COPD is the “organ-on-a-chip,” invented by Dan Huh from the University of Pennsylvania. These are 3D model simulations of sick human lungs that can be used to test and experiment with potential COPD therapies.