The innovation awards and recognition for Arizona-based medical device company SaiOx, Inc. (pronounced SIGH-ox) have been coming fast and furious this fall 2021. The company was selected as 2021 Venture Madness Winner in the medical category by Invest Southwest in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority. Venture Madness is Arizona’s longest-running venture capital conference event.
SaiOx was also designated a finalist at the Governor’s Celebration of Innovation 2021 by the Arizona Technology Council. The council, in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority, honors technology innovators from around the state. The firm was also chosen as the Copper Cactus Award Winner in the Startup of the Year category by the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce.
Why all the awards and recognition? SaiOx CEO Manny Teran believes it’s a natural result of his firm developing an innovative breathing assist device to help the millions of people who suffer from COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This is a group of illnesses that cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the most common conditions associated with this category of diseases.
COPD is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, impacting 24 million Americans and killing more than 3 million people in the U.S. every year. Unfortunately, rates are growing rapidly and a cure has yet to be found. “SaiOx has assembled a team of experts to bring our life changing technology to market,” Teran says. “We are proud to be working with the UA’s Tech Launch Arizona to commercialize technology invented at our hometown university.”
“At SaiOx we are fortunate to have talented and motivated people to help us make a difference in the lives of those with breathing difficulties,” President and COO Don Finkle adds. “Our company is aligned with major demographic trends in healthcare, including an aging population that wants to live an active lifestyle and increased demand for remote patient monitoring and home treatments,” Teran says.
COPD cases are rising compared to the other major diseases. Teran believes SaiOx is poised for success by bringing together university technology with an experienced team to address a clear-cut market need. Traditional treatments for respiratory distress (COVID and COPD) are limited, uncomfortable and raise safety concerns. Patients receive 93M treatments a year worldwide for respiratory distress. This represents a potential $6B market.
That is the market opportunity SaiOx is addressing with its Hespiro™ Respiratory Assist Device (RAD), a device which provides a safe and effective non-invasive approach to respiratory issues. Hespiro™ technology can treat COPD and other respiratory diseases more quickly and at reduced cost. Teran and his team are confident in the treatment advantages their Hespiro™ medical device delivers.
Dr. Sai Parthasarathy, chief of pulmonology at Banner University Hospital in Tucson, invented the core SaiOx technology in response to the need he saw in his patients every day. The company is named in his honor.
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