Broncus Holding Corporation has completed the first case of its targeted lung denervation (TLD) radiofrequency ablation system for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The multicentre study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the TLD ablation system will be conducted across 26 sites in China. The first operation was completed at West China Hospital of Sichuan University, China.
COPD is the third leading cause of death globally and is characterised by difficulty breathing and chronic cough. It is commonly caused by smoking and air pollution. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), COPD is incurable but symptomatic treatment includes surgery. COPD has been included in the WHO’s Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs), which aims to extend diagnosis and treatment for COPD.
According to the American Lung Association, the current surgical approach for COPD is lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS), where approximately 30% of the most diseased lung tissue is excised in an effort to improve breathing ability.
TLD is a radiofrequency ablation therapy through bronchoscopy. It causes denervation in the lung areas through targeted deep-in-lung tissue radiofrequency ablation, thereby reducing airway obstruction. This technique was officially included in the 2023 Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) on November 15, 2022.
TLD therapy is currently under evaluation with a published multicentre, randomised controlled trial (NCT02058459) with targeted lung denervation therapy by Nuvaira Inc. reporting a decreased risk of severe exacerbations of COPD.
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Broncus has also developed a similar bronchoscopic lung ablation treatment using thermal vapours, the InterVapor system, for the treatment of hyper-inflated lung segments in diseases such as COPD. The system has been marketed in Europe since 2017.
GlobalData estimates that the highest prevalence of COPD will be in China, India, and the US, with China having the most cases, approximately 39.5% of the global cases, in 2027.
The most prevalent treatment of COPD includes receptor agonists, receptor antagonists, and enzyme inhibitors, with GSK leading the marketed drugs portfolio with nine drugs and 29 trials over the last ten years (as per GlobalData). Whilst the medical device area for COPD therapy is dominated by positive airway pressure (PAP) devices, which are ventilation devices that can alleviate breathing difficulties in these patients.