OxyNov, Desjardins-Innovatech and CTS Santé join forces to revolutionize the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the world's fifth leading cause of death with 3 million fatalities per year 

FreeO2 technology is a spectacular advancement over the oxygen flow meter, a century-old technology still used in hospitals today

Photo communiqué OxyNov DSC_4059.jpg

Québec City, May 10, 2017 -

In connection with the partnership between Desjardins-Innovatech and the Campus des technologies de la santé (CTS Santé), OxyNov, which developed the FreeO2 technology, announced the closing of an agreement for a 500,000 Can$ venture capital investment. Hosted on the premises of the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec, OxyNov is preparing to launch its FreeO2 automated oxygen adjustment device. In particular, this technological innovation will optimize the management of patients living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). 

"This investment by Desjardins-Innovatech and the guidance provided by CTS Santé come at the right time to support our ambitious plans to commercialize our devices in European and North American hospitals," said Jean-Luc Balzer, President of OxyNov, headquartered in Québec City. 

"This past May 8th, OxyNov obtained European certification (EC) for FreeO2 and ISO 13485 certification for the quality management of its products and related services. In the coming weeks, we will strive to enter into distribution agreements. Our goal: to ensure FreeO2 achieves rapid, widespread market penetration in Europe. At the same time, we'll continue our efforts to obtain the required approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada to commercialize FreeO2 in the United States and Canada," added Jean-Luc Balzer. 

To underscore recently obtaining European certification and the commercial launch of FreeO2 in France, Québec firm OxyNov is holding a symposium today at the offices of the General Delegation of Québec in Paris

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a global scourge 

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is the fifth leading cause of death worldwide with three million fatalities a year. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), some 64 million people have COPD. This disease -- related in particular to tobacco smoking, pollution in living and working environments and atmospheric pollutants --considerably reduces the quality of life of those it affects. 

"CTS Santé is proud to contribute to the growth of OxyNov, which is about to commercialize a product that will revolutionize oxygen therapy, the most widely administered hospital treatment. The resources mobilized are necessary to ensure that this international launch is successful," said CTS Santé General Manager Yvan Beaudoin. The objective of the partnership between Desjardins-Innovatech and CTS Santé is to support the expansion of promising businesses in the medical technologies industry.

Replacing century-old technology presenting risks to patients 

Jacques Perreault, Associate Vice-President representing Desjardins-Innovatech, sees the FreeO2 system as a spectacular advancement over the oxygen flow meter, a century-old technology still used in hospitals today. Patients, hospital staff and hospitals themselves will derive significant benefits from patients being able to return home more quickly. 

The FreeO2 system was invented by Dr. François Lellouche of the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec and Dr. Erwan L'Her of the Université de Bretagne Occidentale, in Brest, France. The device has been tested on over 500 patients in Québec and France. The studies showed an improvement in treatment efficacy and patient comfort and safety, fewer complications, a lighter workload for care staff and shorter treatment periods and hospital stays. 

About OxyNov

OxyNov is an innovative company in the field of medical technologies applied to respiratory support, in particular oxygen therapy for acute or chronic cardiorespiratory diseases. 

This Canadian company has developed and is preparing, with support from Desjardins-Innovatech, to commercialize its FreeOsystem for all patients requiring oxygen. The FreeO2 system measures real-time patient oxygenation and automatically adjusts oxygen flow. Implementing these new hospital treatment strategies will allow people living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to return home more quickly. This will significantly reduce the financial burden for health care systems worldwide, as COPD is the leading cause of hospitalization among all chronic diseases. www.oxynov.com 

About CTS Santé

Backed by Desjardins-Innovatech, CTS Santé is a medical technology industry business accelerator providing support to businesses to stimulate momentum and substantially enhance their chances for success. Our aim is to offer startups a unique value proposition with a structured framework allowing promising enterprises to concentrate on developing their technology, achieve market momentum and attain the international visibility they need to grow and develop. http://ctssante.com/en/ 

About Desjardins-Innovatech

Desjardins-Innovatech is an investment fund whose mission is to promote and support venture capital financing for Québec companies working to develop technology or industrial innovation, with an emphasis on Québec ownership and creating the flagship businesses of tomorrow. Founded in 2005 by the Québec government and Capital régional et coopératif Desjardins, the fund is managed by Desjardins Business Capital régional et coopératif, a Desjardins Group subsidiary. To fulfil its mission, Desjardins-Innovatech partners with other technology players -- specialized investment funds, entrepreneurs, angel investors, technology enterprise accelerators -- to provide even greater outreach to SMEs with promising prospects for driving job creation and economic development. www.desjardins-innovatech.com

Brief video by Dr. Mathieu Simon, Pulmonologist and Head of Critical Care at Université Laval's Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec, talking about the value added of the FreeO2 system for oxygen therapy.

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