Adherium breathes easy following positive ASX listing

Auckland-based medical device developer Adherium had a successful listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) this week, with its stock closing at 60 cents a share on its first day of trading, valuing the company at $A84 million.

Adherium, which was founded by CEO Garth Sutherland in 2001 and was formerly known as Nexus6, makes a range of sensor devices called Smartinhalers that attach to prescription inhalers that deliver corticosteroid and combination therapies for asthma and COPD.

The sensors monitor inhaler use and send audio and visual medication reminders. They also send data via Bluetooth to Adherium's SmartinhalerLive software platform, which includes an app, a smartphone hub and cloud-based software that allows for remote monitoring and for data tracking through a personal electronic health record.

The product range has some excellent clinical trial data behind it, with the results of a four-year New Zealand trial conducted by Cure Kids, the Health Research Council and the University of Auckland of 220 children between the ages of six and 15 with asthma published in January.

That trial showed children who had audio reminders were 180 per cent more likely to take their medication than those in the control arm, and had a 45 per cent reduction in rescue/relief or 'blue inhaler' use.

Other research has shown the Smartinhaler increases adherence in adults by up to 59 per cent, important in a chronic illness where fewer than half of all patients adhere to their prescribed preventative medications.

Adherium issued an IPO earlier this month looking to raise a maximum of $A35 million. It was oversubscribed, having already secured $25m from institutional investors, including $US3m from key commercial client AstraZeneca.

Adherium signed an agreement in July to provide AstraZeneca with new devices and sensors, which will be offered along with the pharma company's respiratory medications.

Adherium's business model does not involve direct to consumer sales, but rather to sell the platform directly to pharmaceutical companies that then provide the device and supporting applications to end users via their own distribution channels.

It also supplies its Smartinhaler platform to disease management organisations and for clinical trials.

It has marketing approval from the US FDA, Australia's TGA, NZ's MedSafe and CE Mark approval in Europe.

Adherium describes the platform as providing a sophisticated integrated remote patient management system for people who have a chronic disease.

It says the use of the system reduces use of rescue medication and the amount of severe exacerbations; can track overuse of rescue medications and notify patient and physician that the disease is becoming poorly controlled; and its app can provide patients, parents, caregivers and doctors clear indications of inhaler usage and adherence to treatment plans.

The Smartinhalers clip onto the regular inhaler and record the date and time of medication use. They automatically send usage data to an app, hub or PC via Bluetooth, and they sing a song when medication is due.

Posted in New Zealand eHealth

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