The French group decided to invest in this promising company due to the rapid growth of the oxygen therapy sector. Oxygen therapy products have hardly evolved since their first appearance 100 years ago. The lack of automatization makes it difficult to keep to a recommended daily O2 allowance and carries risks related to complications such as hyperoxia (excess oxygen supply) and hypoxemia (decrease in the amount of O2 in the blood).
"We are delighted with this investment in OxyNov, which is part of our international development strategy", said Stéphane Regnault, chairman of the executive board of Vygon. "The FreeO2 solution complements Vygon's offering in the respiratory range and will enable us to remain at the forefront of technological developments in this field."
Founded in 2009, Oxynov launched FreeO2, a medical device CE marked in May 2017. It allows automated oxygen titration and weaning. FreeO2 automatically and continuously adjusts the flow of oxygen delivered to the patient based on a clinician-defined target for oxygen saturation (SpO2) and patient needs.
In addition to the investment, Vygon and OxyNov also signed a distribution agreement for FreeO2. The Canadian company’s flagship product will complement Vygon’s respiratory range, in particular the CPAP device. FreeO2 will be distributed under OxyNov’s brand name in a number of European countries (Scandinavia, Benelux, Italy), selected Asian countries, and Africa.
"We are very proud to have entered into this strategic partnership with Vygon," said Jean-Luc Balzer, CEO of OxyNov. "It gives OxyNov the means to open new markets for FreeO2, including the U.S. in 2019, and to continue the development of a range of other products which complement it."
OxyNov is a Canadian company focused on clinical innovation and specialized in the design and commercialization of medical devices in the field of oxygen therapy and respiratory support. OxyNov was founded in 2009 by two medical researchers, Pr. Erwan L'Her (head of the medical resuscitation department and INSERM researcher at the University Hospital in Brest) and François Lellouche (resuscitator and researcher at IUCPQ), based on a clinical research project aimed at the development of a device to automate the administration of oxygen therapy (FreeO2) and to improve the implementation of this treatment on a daily basis. OxyNov was initially established at the University Institute of Cardiology and Pneumology of Quebec with the support of all the pulmonologists.
Vygon designs, manufactures, and markets high-tech single-use medical devices for healthcare professionals in hospital and for private and independent practitioners. Vygon is a world leader within this industry, offering a wide range of products in a number of clinical specialties. Organized in five business units (Intensive Care – Neonatology, Enteral & Obstetrics – Intravascular Therapies – Cardiovascular & Surgery – Anesthesia & Emergency), Vygon combines local and international in-depth expertise and know-how in each individual field. With expertise right along the value chain, from product design to the delivery of training for medical personnel, Vygon provides healthcare professionals with products tailored to their needs and those of their patients. The company distributes over 205 million products a year in more than 120 countries through its network of 27 subsidiaries and 331 distributors. Vygon products are manufactured in the group’s eight factories in Europe, the United States, and Colombia. A family company founded in 1962, Vygon is based in Ecouen, in France’s greater Paris region. It is a mid-sized business employing 2,350 staff worldwide. The turnover in 2017 was 310 million euros ($362 million), with 81 percent of those funds derived from Vygon’s international business.