With the rate of those suffering from asthma in China growing dramatically -- many point to China's well-documented pollution problems as a key contributing factor -- Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX ) announced today that it has gained approval from the China Food and Drug Administration for its Alair Bronchial Thermoplasty System.
The U.S. FDA first approved the Alair system in 2010, when it was submitted for review by Asthmatx, a company Boston Scientific acquired later that same year for $193.5 million, plus additional payments of as much as $250 million based on meeting certain sales objectives.
Bronchial Thermoplasty, according to Boston Scientific, is an outpatient treatment that uses mild heat to help reduce the constriction of the airways asthma sufferers contend with.
"We believe this device can markedly improve the quality of life of asthma patients here in China," said Warren Wang, Boston Scientific vice president and managing director, China.
Asthma has steadily increased in China the past 20 years, according to numerous reports, and some estimates suggest the rates of asthma are up as much as 40% in the past five years alone.