Aerocrine has announced that a group of prominent clinicians and researchers in the field of asthma in the US, have issued a consensus paper recommending that inflammation monitoring using fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) should be part of the routine clinical management of asthma, in conjunction with other conventional methods. The points of clinical consensus were arrived at during a closed meeting held at National Jewish Health in Denver, Colorado.
The panel recommended that FENO should be used to determine the presence or absence of eosinophilic airway inflammation, to determine the likelihood of steroid responsiveness, to measure response to steroid therapy and level of inflammation control. In addition, the expert panel concludes that FENO is a useful tool to monitor patient ICS treatment adherence and allergen exposure. Traditional tools used by the clinician do not identify or measure inflammation, the underlying cause of asthma symptoms; hence the FENO value can provide additional valuable information not otherwise apparent to either physician or patient.
The panel also notes that private payer resistance is still common, and some insurance carriers continue to refuse reimbursement for FENO testing on the grounds that it is investigational, experimental or unproven. However, the consensus panel disagrees with this stand, and believes that the data support the use of FENO in asthma management in conjunction with conventional tools.
Aerocrine’s founders made the original discovery that nitric oxide in exhaled breath is elevated in patients with asthma. The company has since pioneered the development of medical devices and the method to monitor airway inflammation by measuring FENO. Aerocrine’s first device received CE marking in Europe in 2000 and FDA clearance in the US in 2003. NIOX MINO, the first and only handheld device for FENO monitoring in clinical practice, received CE marking in 2004 and FDA clearance in early 2008. To date, more than three million patient tests have been performed around the world using Aerocrine’s FENO monitoring systems.
Chip Neff, president of Aerocrine, said: “NIOX MINO provides accurate, reproducible and immediate measurement of FENO, which is a non-invasive, simple and safe method to obtain a quantitative measure of steroid-responsive airway inflammation, that today helps physicians across the world to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs.”