Phagenesis has launched the world’s first approved treatment for acute dysphagia following stroke.
The Phagenyx™ system delivers calibrated electrical stimulus to the throat (oropharynx) for 10 minutes a day for three consecutive days to patients who suffer from dysphagia – the inability to swallow safely – a debilitating condition that affects about half of all stroke patients. Randomised controlled clinical trials show that this protocol leads to statistically significant improvements in patients’ swallowing function.
Phagenesis also announced its first sales of the Phagenyx™ system, in a transaction worth seven figures, to Modern Pharmaceutical Company (MPC), a leading distributor in the Middle East at the annual congress of the European Society for Swallowing Disorders (ESSD), in Barcelona, Spain. Initial markets for Phagenyx™ will be the UK and the UAE.
Daniel Green, CEO of Phagenesis, said: “Within the last few months, the team has worked tirelessly to get the product to where it is today. By bringing this product to market, we are providing physicians with the tools they need to treat dysphagia and alleviate the suffering of many stroke patients.”
The Phagenyx™ system is the result of almost 20 years work by Professor Shaheen Hamdy at the University of Manchester, UK. Phagenesis, a Manchester company, was formed in 2007 to turn Professor Hamdy’s work into technology suitable for everyday use in hospitals.
Dysphagia significantly increases the risk of aspiration pneumonia that can lead to an extended hospital stay, transfer to intensive care, expensive drug treatment, and risk of death. Recovery can take months and some patients never regain their swallowing function. Clinical trials with the electrical stimulation delivered by Phagenyx™ have shown not only a reduction in the level of aspiration (inhaled liquids or solids) that can lead to life-threatening pneumonia, but also a reduction in hospital stays for stroke patients of five days. Based on the reduction in hospital stay, studies show that Phagenyx™ is cost saving as well as clinically beneficial.
 “Dysphagia After Stroke Incidence, Diagnosis, and Pulmonary Complications”, Rosemary Martino et al.
Stroke. 2005; 36: 2756-2763 Published online before print November 3, 2005, doi: 10.1161/01.STR.0000190056.76543.eb