MENLO PARK, Calif., Jan. 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Gala Therapeutics (Gala), a clinical-stage developer of medical devices to treat pulmonary disease, today announced that the first patient at Temple Lung Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was treated on January 15th, 2019 as part of the Early Feasibility Study of RheOx™ for chronic bronchitis. Dr. Victor Kim, a leading expert in chronic bronchitis, performed the procedure.
"We are excited to offer this new bronchoscopic method of treating chronic bronchitis by reducing the mucus-producing cells that cause the disease. No approved drugs target these abnormal cells and therefore, RheOx is the first tool in an entirely new category," said Victor Kim, MD, ATSF, AASM. "Many of the patients who I treat in the clinic may benefit from this new personalized therapy in the largest segment of the COPD population."
RheOx, an electrosurgical system developed by Gala Therapeutics, targets the abnormal, mucus-producing cells in the airways. In a minimally invasive procedure, a pulmonologist guides an endoscope into the airways and inserts the RheOx catheter, delivering short bursts of electrical energy to the airway walls. Within days, the abnormal cells that produce large volumes of mucus are replaced by new cells, which produce less mucus.
Chronic bronchitis is the most common subtype of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a condition which impacts over 15 million people, mostly smokers and former smokers, in the United States. Secondhand smoke, vaping, exposure to airborne chemicals, pollution, and other irritants can contribute to the disease. Chronic bronchitis is associated with increased cough, excessive phlegm and shortness of breath for greater than 3 months of each year. Despite treatment with inhalers many patients have persistent symptoms.
In the Early Feasibility Study, seven clinical trial sites in the United States will enroll up to fifteen patients. The procedure is performed in two treatments sessions, the first to treat the right lung airways and the second, one month later, to treat the left lung airways.
"We are thrilled to partner with the Temple Lung Center in this study. This team has established themselves as both thought leaders in chronic bronchitis and experts in the emerging interventional pulmonary space," said Jonathan Waldstreicher, MD, Founder and CEO of Gala. "We plan to enroll additional patients at Temple and new clinical trial sites in the coming months."
Individuals in the United States diagnosed with chronic bronchitis who are interested in participating in the study can assess eligibility at www.bronchitisstudy.com. RheOx is an investigational medical device limited by United States law to investigational study only.
About Gala Therapeutics
Gala Therapeutics is a privately-held medical device company based in Menlo Park, CA that was formed by Apple Tree Partners, a life-sciences focused venture capital firm. Gala is dedicated to developing disease modifying therapies that improve survival, quality of life, and outcomes for patients with lung cancer, COPD, asthma, and other pulmonary diseases. Gala is building a portfolio of technologies to address the needs of interventional pulmonologists, thoracic surgeons, and all physicians who treat pulmonary disease.
SOURCE Gala Therapeutics, Inc.