Brisbane-based Oventus Medical has opened a new 3D printing facility at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's (CSIRO) Clayton, Victoria campus.
The facility builds on an existing partnership between Oventus and CSIRO, and will see the publicly-traded company produce its O2Vent device, a customisable, 3D-printed titanium mouthguard designed ensure optimal airflow and reduce the effects of snoring for sleep apnoea sufferers.
Oventus has been developing O2Vent for almost three years, and an initial prototype of the O2Vent, which completed successful clinical trials, was 3D-printed using CSIRO's 3D printing facility, Lab22.
According to Dr Keith McLean, research director of CSIRO manufacturing, the collaboration between Australian researchers and industry is paving the way for innovation in 3D design and production processes, as well as the treatment of obstructive sleep apnoea.
"Combining our research team's additive manufacturing experience with the software capabilities of CSIRO's Data61, meant we could create a one-stop in-house process for making personalised mouth pieces that are individualised for each Oventus customer," McLean said in a statement.
"Additionally, we have been able to help Oventus upscale their manufacturing process to allow large volume manufacturing of the devices at the Clayton facility."
Oventus landed on the Australian Securities Exchange in July, following a AU$12 million initial public offering.
At the time, the company said the raised capital will be used to commercialise and distribute its O2Vent device, which received Food and Drug Administration approval in the United States in April this year. Oventus is set to launch into the United States market in early 2017, with the company noting over 37 million people regularly suffer from snoring in the US alone.
CSIRO's Lab22 was previously responsible for helping Melbourne-based medical device company Anatomics 3D-print a titanium sternum and rib impact for a 54-year-old Spanish man.
The patient needed his sternum and a portion of his rib cage replaced due to a chest wall sarcoma, a type of tumour that grows in and around the rib cage. The CSIRO said at the time the patient's surgical team knew the surgery would be difficult due to the complicated geometries involved in the chest cavity, and decided the customisable 3D-printed sternum and rib cage was the best option.
Once the prosthesis was complete it was sent to Spain and implanted into the patient. According to the CSIRO, 12 days after the surgery the patient was discharged and recovered well.