CMP 6.57% 73.0¢ compumedics limited

Compumedics Granted Patents for Sleep Treatment

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    COMPUMEDICS LIMITED 2002-10-11 ASX-SIGNAL-G

    HOMEX - Melbourne

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Medical technology company Compumedics Ltd (ASX:CMP) has been granted
    US patents for two breakthrough developments for the treatment of
    sleep disorders. These developments take Compumedics, already a world
    leader in equipment for diagnosing sleep disorders, further into the
    larger field of treatments for the disorders.

    The most common sleep disorder, obstructive sleep apnoea, is commonly
    treated with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device, a
    small air pump attached to a mask that keeps the air passages open
    during sleep. Individually, the new Compumedics patents cover a mask
    with integrated sensors (Biomask TM) and a sleep linked automatic
    gas delivery system (SPAP TM), but it is the combination of the two
    that presents the greatest potential advance for sleep apnoea
    sufferers.

    Compumedics executive chairman, David Burton said, "We have applied
    Compumedics core competence in diagnostics to devise an intelligent
    sleep treatment system that monitors the quality of the patient's
    sleep by measuring brain activity. By using that information to
    control the rate of air delivered from the pump, we expect patients
    to enjoy a significant improvement in sleep quality from that
    experienced with conventional CPAP systems."

    While conventional CPAP systems clearly improve the quality of an
    apnoea sufferer's sleep, Compumedics' research has found that a
    degree of arousal from sleep occurs when the air pump is activated to
    compensate for the patient's own restricted breathing. To address
    this shortcoming, the Compumedics Biomask TM detects arousals from
    sleep and the SPAP TM optimises positive air pressure treatment in
    order to minimise sleep fragmentation and maximise sleep quality.

    Professor Robert Pierce from the Institute for Breathing and Sleep at
    Melbourne's Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre described the new
    Compumedics technology as a potentially significant advance in sleep
    medicine. "There can be no disputing the benefits that CPAP has
    brought to apnoea sufferers. However some breathing disturbance still
    occurs with the current devices before the pressure adjustment is
    triggered. Compumedics' system may be able to detect and eliminate
    breathing disturbance earlier by monitoring brain activity and
    sending that information back to be integrated into the response of
    the air delivery pump," he said.

    The latest developments confirm Compumedics' progress along the
    strategic path outlined in the prospectus for its initial public
    offering in 2000. "In 2000, we identified smart CPAP technology,
    specifically related to automatic control of air delivery, as one of
    the growth platforms for Compumedics. The awarding of these patents
    is a crucial step towards our entry into this lucrative world
    market," David Burton said.

    It is estimated that around $1.3 billion is currently spent each year
    on equipment to treat obstructive sleep apnoea. Untreated sleep
    apnoea is one of the major causes of daytime drowsiness and
    consequently is also one of the major causes of driver fatigue.
    Compumedics was recently awarded an Australian Research Council grant
    to develop vehicle based monitoring and warning devices to counter
    the potentially fatal effect of driver fatigue. This project was also
    identified as a key development project for the company in the 2000
    prospectus.

    Clinical trials to determine the benefits of the Biomask TM/SPAP TM
    technologies in controlling sleep disordered breathing have
    commenced.


    For further information:

    David Burton David Lawson
    EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, CEO COMPANY SECRETARY
    Phone: +61 3 8413 7300 Phone: +61 3 8413 7300
    Fax: +61 3 8413 7399 Fax: +61 3 8413 7399
    [email protected]

 
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