CSIRO helps sleep disorder start-up make ASX debut



CSIRO partner Oventus Medical Ltd has just been listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASE), raising $12m in its initial public offer.

Oventus manufactures sleep apnoea devices and has invested heavily in R&D with the CSIRO over the past two and a half years, helping to hone their production process and grow their business.

The Brisbane-based company first approached the CSIRO in 2014 when Oventus founder and dentist Dr Chris Hart had the idea for a mouthguard custom-made with an airway to deliver air to the back of the mouth, bypassing obstruction from the nose, soft palate and tongue.

When Dr Hart asked the CSIRO if they could 3D-print the device from titanium, the result was an initial prototype which has since successfully completed clinical trials and been named the O2Vent™.

The O2Vent is 3D-printed to the precise dimensions of a patient’s mouth, ensuring optimal airflow during sleep, thereby reducing the effects of snoring and sleep apnoea.

The original prototype was made in the CSIRO’s Lab 22 Innovation Centre in Victoria using an Arcam 3D-printer.

Lab 22 is one of Australia’s leading facilities for metal additive manufacturing and has assisted in world-first medical breakthroughs including 3D-printed body parts for patients in Australia and in Europe.

Dr Hart said the opportunity to access the latest 3D-printing technology through the CSIRO’s Lab22 facility was invaluable.

“This allowed us to explore new and innovative manufacturing techniques with a reduced investment risk,” he said.

“Using 3D-printing to manufacture the O2Vent sleep apnoea devices offered us huge advantages over traditional manufacturing methods including speed and cost.

“This partnership has made us globally competitive.”

In April this year, the device was cleared by the FDA and can now be marketed in the US, where it’s estimated 37 million Americans regularly suffer from snoring.

Oventus—hopeful that the O2Vent will disrupt the multi-billion dollar market for sleep apnoea solutions—is aiming for a pilot launch of its device in the United States later this year.

You can read Bite magazine’s earlier story about O2Vent here.

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