Pulmonx Announces That HUMANA Has Issued a Positive Coverage Policy for the Zephyr Valve, a Less Invasive Treatment Option for Severe Emphysema (COPD)

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    Humana® is the second major insurer to post a coverage policy for
    Pulmonx’s Zephyr Endobronchial Valve Treatment

    REDWOOD CITY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–lt;a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/COPD?src=hash” target=”_blank”gt;#COPDlt;/agt;–Pulmonx Corporation, a leader in diagnostic and therapeutic pulmonary
    device technologies, announced today that its Zephyr® Valve has received
    positive coverage from Humana® under its new endobronchial valve (EBV)
    coverage policy. Humana, a national health insurer in the United States
    covers more than 10 million members. This decision, together with an
    earlier positive coverage decision by Aetna®, means that the Zephyr
    Valve is now an available treatment option for over 30 million Americans
    with commercial insurance. The Zephyr Valve is a less invasive treatment
    option for severe emphysema (COPD) that has been shown to deliver
    life-changing benefits to COPD patients without the risk of major
    surgery. Clinical benefits include improved quality of life, less
    shortness of breath, and the ability to be more active.1

    “Following FDA’s approval of the Zephyr Valve as a ‘breakthrough
    device’, we are thrilled to see a positive coverage policy by another
    major payer,” states Glen French, President and Chief Executive Officer
    of Pulmonx. “This policy decision shows a true commitment by Humana to
    bring the most advanced treatment options to its members. The Zephyr
    Valve has been shown in numerous published clinical trials to improve
    pulmonary function, exercise capacity, shortness of breath, and quality
    of life of patients with severe emphysema.”1,2,3

    Under its new coverage policy, Humana specifically names the Zephyr
    Valve being covered for qualifying patients. The Zephyr Valves are
    placed in a single bronchoscopic procedure with no incision. The
    procedure carries much less risk than surgical options including lung
    volume reduction surgery (LVRS) and lung transplantation.

    “Patients with severe emphysema (COPD) suffer from breathlessness and
    often very poor quality of life, and until the availability of the
    Zephyr Valve, had few treatment options that did not involve major
    surgery,” said Dr. Mark Dransfield, Medical Director of the University
    of Alabama at Birmingham Lung Health Center. “As a physician who
    manages patients with COPD, I am very pleased to see Humana offer its
    members access to this treatment option that can provide meaningful
    life-improving benefits long-term without the risks of major surgery.”

    During the procedure, an average of four Zephyr Valves are placed in the
    airways to block off a diseased portion of the lung, which is thereby
    reduced in size. Reducing hyperinflation and preventing air from getting
    trapped in the diseased parts of the lung allows the healthier lung
    tissue to expand and take in more air. This results in patients being
    able to breathe easier and have less shortness of breath.1
    Patients treated with the Zephyr Valves have reported immediate relief
    and the ability to go back to doing everyday tasks with greater ease.

    More on the Zephyr Valves
    The Zephyr Valve was approved by
    the FDA in June 2018 through an expedited review because, according to
    FDA, it “represents a breakthrough technology as the device offers
    bronchoscopic lung volume reduction without surgery and its associated
    risks. This device offers a significant, clinically meaningful advantage
    over the current standard of care and therefore, its availability is
    also in the best interest of patients.”4 Since 2007 more than
    15,000 patients have been treated with the Zephyr Valve worldwide. The
    Zephyr Valve treatment is included in emphysema treatment guidelines
    issued by leading health organizations worldwide, including the Global
    Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) and the UK’s
    National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

    More about COPD and Emphysema
    More than 15 million Americans
    suffer from COPD, and 3.5 million of those patients have emphysema.5
    Despite taking the best available medications, over one million
    emphysema patients suffer symptoms of hyperinflation, where air becomes
    trapped in the lungs and prevents fresh air from entering the lungs,
    thereby causing severe shortness of breath. Breathing becomes
    inefficient and patients must work very hard just to breathe – making
    normal activities, like walking, eating, or even bathing difficult.
    There are few treatment options for most patients with emphysema and
    there is no cure. Until now, the only other options for these patients
    were highly invasive treatments such as lung volume reduction surgery or
    lung transplantation.

    About Pulmonx Corporation
    Based in Redwood City, California,
    and Neuchâtel, Switzerland, Pulmonx is the world leader in
    interventional pulmonology diagnostics, planning tools, and treatments
    for obstructive lung disease. For more information, visit www.MyLungsMyLife.com

    HUMANA coverage policy:


    1 Am J Respir Crit Care Med Vol 198, Iss 9, pp 1151–1164, Nov
    1, 2018
    2 Kemp S et al. Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2017;
    (196)12: 1535-1543
    3 Valipour et al. Am J Respir Crit
    Care Med. 2016; Vol 194, Iss 9, pp 1073-1082 and Data on file at Pulmonx
    PMA P180002: FDA Summary of Safety and Effectiveness Data. June 29,
    2018. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cdrh_docs/pdf18/P180002B.pdf.
    American Lung Association. Trends in COPD (Chronic Bronchitis and
    Emphysema): Morbidity and Mortality. March 2013.


    Meghan Oreste, 617-823-1441, [email protected]