Start Up ETView Moves Forward: Signs $4 Million Distribution Agreement with Unimedical -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine


ETView Ltd.

Start Up ETView Moves Forward: Signs $4 Million Distribution Agreement with Unimedical

ETView, a graduate company of the Misgav Technology Center (MTC), has developed the first endotracheal tube of its kind. ETView’s disposable Tracheoscopic Ventilation Tube™ (TVT), with its embedded video camera, has an estimated clinical market of $700 million - $1.5 billion in annual sales.

ETView Ltd., an MTC graduate, announced today that it has signed an agreement under which it will sell more than $4 million of TVT’s to a leading Italian medical equipment distributor, Unimedical s.r.l., of Turin, Italy. The contract is for three years, and supply will begin in May, 2006. Unimedical has received exclusive rights to market the ETView product in that country.

ETView’s product is a disposable endotracheal tube with an embedded video camera and light source at its tip, which projects images of the airway onto a monitor. The insertion of an endotracheal tube (“intubation”) is performed in situations where a patient cannot breathe or for administering general anesthesia for surgery. Today, endotracheal tubes are inserted using a laryngoscope, a metal instrument that is inserted into the patient’s mouth to lift the tongue and jaw in order for the operator to see the vocal cords leading to the trachea, which are deep in the throat behind the tongue. Sometimes it is impossible to see the vocal cords without injury to the patient’s mouth or teeth or without hyper extending his neck, which is not always safe to do. In many cases the tube enters the esophagus, rather than the trachea, which can be fatal if not detected immediately. In other cases it is inserted too deeply into one lung, preventing the second lung from receiving oxygen.

The new product enables continuous visualization of the airways during the intubation procedure and for as long as the tube needs to be in place. The ability to see the location of the tube within the airway, and to manage secretions under visual control, represents a breakthrough in critical patient care. The cost of the single use device is $120, comparable to the average cost in the United States of one mobile x-ray taken to verify tube position. The TVT is expected to reduce the number of chest x-rays needed for verifying tube position, which represents a clear cost benefit for hospitals and insurance companies, while reducing patient exposure to radiation and improving patient care.

ETView is considered one of the most promising companies to have graduated from MTC. The Company began selling its product to the medical training and veterinary markets while still in the incubator. CEO Ofer Fridman stresses that the active involvement of Steve Rhodes, CEO of the Misgav Technology Center, and extraordinary cooperation between the ETView team members, placed the company on a path that significantly shortened its time “to market”. “FDA approval at the end of 2005, the signing of our first large-scale marketing agreement with a leading European country, and the start of clinical market sales in May 2006, all advance the Company’s working program,” says Fridman. “ETView is now enjoying a time of momentum and expansion, building production lines and developing the marketing process. In the coming months, we expect to sign additional contracts with distributors in Europe and the U.S.”