Special Report: Melbourne-based asthma assessment company Respiri is taking steps to protect its commercial advantage before its Australian launch with another patent filing.

Respiri Limited (ASX:RSH) has filed for another patent on its wheezo algorithm to detect signs of asthma after making improvements to the process over the last six months.

The additional intellectual property relate to a method of processing recordings of a user’s breathing, where the algorithm processes the sound signal and marks periods containing pitch that’s characteristic of wheeze via the trachea while eliminating background noise.

Asthma is typically measured through a self-reported, subjective questionnaire – the ACQ5, or Asthma Control Questionnaire 5. Respiri says that its wheeze-detecting device will be the first tool available for an objective assessment of a patient’s respiratory condition in the real world.

“The significant improvement in the sensitivity and specificity of our device shown in recent clinical trials highlights the important enhancements made to our algorithm, which we believe confers a distinct commercial advantage worthy of additional IP protection,” said Marjan Mikel, chief executive and managing director of Respiri.

“Wheezo is the first asthma management device to show such a high correlation to stethoscope measurement of wheeze via the chest or back, which is the gold standard used by doctors to assess patients in the clinic.

“Protecting our commercial advantage is of paramount importance as we move into our commercial launch in Australia and over the next 12-24 months into the UK, Europe and the United States.”


Strong cash balance

As previously reported, Respiri recently completed aa $12.5 million capital raising to o a sustainable cash flow breakeven position by the second half of FY22.

The placement left Respiri with $14.5 million in cash, leaving it with plenty of funds to pay for the manufacture of its wheezo device.

Cipla Australia earlier this month began direct pharmacy sales and marketing activities for wheezo under an exclusive sales and marketing deal signed with Respiri in July.

More launches are expected to follow soon, including in the United States, the UK and Europe.


Chinese manufacturing partner

In September, Respiri struck a manufacturing partnership where its wheezo devices will be made in China for a fraction of the cost.

Devon Park, South Australia-based Entech Electronics has already begun production preparation activities for delivering 12,000 wheezo devices from February.

The asthma management tools will be made in Entech’s production facilities in Shenzhen, China, which has more than 200 staff.

The partnership will enable Respiri to scale production significantly and quickly to meet forecast global demand, the company says.

Wheezos will be able to be manufactured at less one-sixth of the cost that Respiri was paying before, the company says.


Device validated

Resiri has clinical trials that back up the wheezo device, which detects “wheeze” and measures its severity.

Tests on 56 patients show the wheezo device detects wheeze at rates closely correlated a physician’s assessment using a stethoscope.

The company also in August inked a deal with the Australian Patients Association to sell the device to its members.

This article was developed in collaboration with Respiri, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.