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Nov 02, 2017


Our Sensing Unit Adopted for NO measuring instrument sold in Europe

Nagoya, November 2, 2017―NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. (Chairman, President, and CEO: Shinichi Odo, Headquarters: Nagoya, hereafter NTK) is pleased to announce that its sensing unit has been adopted to an exhaled nitric oxide (NO) measuring instrument and will be distributed in Europe starting on November 20, 2017.

NTK has various sensors for automobiles (exhaust gas oxygen sensors, NOx sensors, etc.) using ceramics and these are one of our business pillars. We are currently focusing on creating new businesses with these ceramics technologies.

In recent years, non-invasive measurement and monitoring of NO in exhaled breath has become an established way to diagnose and management asthma. (*1) NTK and Spirosure (CEO: J. Dean Zikria, Headquarters CA, USA. Former Spirometrix) signed a capital and business partnership agreement in October 2014 to co-develop an asthma monitoring system, which will be used in hospitals, clinics and in the privacy of the patient’s home. NTK gained access to a new market in medical devices for utilizing its existing NOx sensor technology and Spirosure gained access to sophisticated, world class, high quality mass production of NO sensors for healthcare applications.

Spirosure has just launched the NO measuring instrument (Fenom PROTM) for physician office and hospital use with our sensing unit in Europe. In the future, this NO measuring technology will be expanded for not only use in the hospital/physician but also for personal care use at home (Fenom HOMETM). At NTK, the ultimate aim is to spread the use of non-invasive NO measuring instruments in respiratory disease management and to reduce patients’ physical burdens through its close partnership with Spirosure, Inc.

We will continue to develop new businesses in the fields of environment and energy, medicine and next-generation automobile by taking advantage of our strength and technology that we have cultivated as a ceramic manufacturer.

(*1)  Source: The Journal of the Japanese Respiratory Society 48 (1), 2010. P17

■NO Measuring Instrument (Fenom PRO™)

For Your Reference: About Asthma

Asthma is an inflammatory respiratory disease. Due to irritants arising from allergens and the living environment of a patient, an airway reacts sensitively and narrows its lumen. This brings a sudden cough and a rasping breath. A severe attack may be fatal, and around 6,000 people in Japan die per year (*2). In the world, approximately 300 million people are suffering from asthma (* 3).

The level of NO has been reported to be elevated in exhaled breath of patients with asthma, and its level can be reduced by steroid therapy (*4). Exhaled NO is a recognized biomarker of asthma around the world. In fact, guidelines around the use and value of NO asthma testing has been approved by the American Thoracic Society as well as the European Respiratory Society. This is due to the fact that asthma most prevalent across developed countries in Europe, Asia and in the United States. In Japan, the importance of measuring the level of NO in the breath has been noted in academic societies.

(*2) Source: Japan Medical Association Website

(*3) Source: Global Burden of Asthma Report, 2004.
        Available from:

(*4) Source: The Journal of the Japanese Respiratory Society 48 (1), 2010. P17

■About Spirosure, Inc. (former Spirometrix, Inc.)

Founded in 2011, Spirosure is a medical technology venture-backed company headquartered in Pleasanton, California, U.S.A. Its mission is to develop and provide measurement instruments and digital health tools for respiratory diseases. The company aims to provide cost effective, non-invasive products for the management of chronic disease such as: asthma, COPD, and chronic pulmonary hypertension using a nexus of consumer technologies for preventative healthcare through our proprietary set of sensors and algorithms.

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