Endobronchial valve is a one-way valve used in patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Endobronchial valve allows one-way flow of air into the airways, and thereby decrease shortness of breath in the condition of lung disease or emphysema. Emphysema is a type of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, which involves damage to the air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs.

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It is a form of chronic lung disorder that causes difficulty in breathing. Emphysema is also called obstructive disorder, airflow or exhalation slows down or stops due to over-inflammation of the alveoli. To treat the emphysema, endobroncial valve.  Endobroncial valve close during inhalation, stopping air from entering the damaged part of the lung. However, the valves open during exhalation, letting out trapped air, which is intended to reduce pressure.

Smoking is one of the major causes of emphysema. According to some studies, smokers are six times more likely to be victims of emphysema as compared to non-smokers. Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency is another cause of emphysema. However, this is a minor cause of the medical condition compared to smoking. AAT is a natural protein circulating in human blood whose function is to prevent white blood cells from destroying normal tissues. Deficiency of AAT is a genetic disorder, wherein white blood cells continuously damage the normal tissues. Approximately 2% to 3% of people with emphysema have deficiency of AAT. Similarly, long time exposure to environmental cigarette smoking may increase the risk of emphysema. Work place smoke exposures are believed to be the cause in 10% to 20% of the cases.

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Endobronchial Valve Market – Competitive Landscape

Currently, the global endobronchial valve market is highly consolidated, with a few key players holding significant share. Pulmonx Corporation (Zephyr) and Spiration Inc are investing in the development and introduction of new endobronchial valve products. The Zephyr Valve, which is the first minimally-invasive device for treating patients with severe emphysema, received the U.S. FDA approval in June 2018.

Pulmonx Corporation

Founded in 1998, Pulmonx Corporation is headquartered in California, the U.S. The company designs, develops, manufactures, and markets minimally-invasive medical devices and technologies for diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary disorders. The company is the leader in interventional pulmonology diagnostics, planning tools, and treatments for obstructive lung disease. In June 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the company’s Endobronchial Valve System (The Zephyr) for treating severe emphysema patients. The Zephyr Valve is the first minimally-invasive device approved in the U.S. for treating patients with severe emphysema, a progressive and life-threatening form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

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Olympus Corporation

Established in 1919, Olympus Corporation is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. It is a multinational, technology-driven company that operates through three major business segments: medical unit, scientific solutions unit, and imaging unit. The medical unit operates primarily through three verticals: gastrointestinal, respiratory, and surgical. It offers a wide range of products such as video endoscopy, endoscopic ultrasound, bronchoscopy, and endotherapy devices under its gastrointestinal and respiratory sub-divisions. These products have wide applications in the fields of endoscopy, urology, general surgery, pulmonology, gynecology, gastroenterology, and anesthesia.

Endobronchial Valve Market – Dynamics

Rise in Prevalence of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an umbrella term used to describe various progressive lung diseases such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Patients suffering from severe COPD require continuous supply of oxygen. According to the WHO, COPD is the fourth leading cause of death across the world. Approximately 2.75 million people succumb to it every year. Furthermore, COPD is likely to be the third leading cause of death by 2030. Under the new guidance from the U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) supporting endobronchial valves in the treatment for the patient suffering from severe emphysema .

Globally, the incidence of COPD is projected to increase in the next few decades owing to the continual exposure to risk factors and increase in number of smokers. The rate of mortality attributed to COPD is expected to rise in the next few decades compared to that of other chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke.

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Increase in Geriatric Population

Life expectancy of people has increased over the last decade. The immune system of a person weakens with age. Increase in geriatric population has led to high risk of contracting diseases in this age group. COPD occurs most often in older people, but it can also affect the middle-aged population. According to the National Institute of Aging, in 2010, 8% of the world’s population was aged 65 years or older, which was about 524 million people. Between 2010 and 2050, the number of elderly people in less developed countries is projected to increase by more than 250% compared to 71% in developed countries. Aging increases the risk of contracting respiratory diseases. This is expected to boost the demand for endobronchial valves during the forecast period.

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