Cochlear expands into ResMed’s field of sleep apnea.

Hearing implant maker Cochlear (ASX:COH) has expanded beyond its hearing speciality into the field of sleep, an area now dominated by fellow Australian manufacturer ResMed.

Cochlear invested $21 million in a capital raising by Nyxoah S.A., a Belgian medical device company commercialising a nerve stimulation implant for the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Jan Janssen, Chief Technology Officer of Cochlear said: “Cochlear actively monitors the market for novel technologies and implantable devices that over the long term may leverage or enhance its
core technology.”

Nyxoah Chairman Robert Taub said a Cochlear representative had joined the company’s board.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Cochlear as a new investor,” he said.

Nyxoah’s stimulator is implanted close to the nerve of the tongue and activated by a disposable patch worn at night under the chin.

It is being developed as an alternative to ResMed’s continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) approach. Many patients find it difficult to wear CPAP devices over night.

Cochlear is the world’s number one maker of hearing implants and its move into apnea is a shock given its benign relationship with ResMed.

Many medical devices ultimately fail in the market, but should Nyxoah be successful it would set up a fascinating Australian technology battle.

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Picture: Cochlear/Nucleus 7 implant.

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