Inovo aims to conserve conservers

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

NAPLES, Fla.--Non-delivery systems like portable oxygen concentrators and transfill units may have near celebrity status in the HME industry, but Inovo continues to stand behind conservers.

In late 2007, Inovo bought CHAD Therapeutics’ conserver business for $5.25 million, and over the summer, it finished folding in CHAD’s operations in Chatsworth, Calif., into its own operations here.

“The largest percentage of patients are still being treated with conservers and standard oxygen concentrators and tanks,” said George Harris, CEO of Inovo. “There are still limitations to portable oxygen concentrators, in terms of cost and the types of patients they can service.”

Inovo, a private labeler of conservers and regulators to distributors and manufacturers, aims to shake up the mature conserver market. CHAD, which introduced the first conserver in 1983, Precision Medical and Inovo (in that order) have dominated the market for years, Harris said.

With CHAD under its wing, Inovo plans to expand overseas. Right now, international markets comprise about 12% of its business. CHAD, however, sells to more than 50 countries.

“We see a big opportunity in the international markets, as they look for ways to conserve oxygen in treating patients,” Harris said.

Inovo also plans to improve and expand its line of conservers, including CHAD’s Bonsai, a lightweight conserver with a high conserve ratio.

“By taking CHAD’s experience and our expertise in machining and assembling, we’re a stronger company that can develop key products that fit the needs of patients,” Harris said.

There may even be an opportunity for Inovo to grow as the demand for transfill units grows, Harris said.

“Transfill units use conservers,” he said. “We continue to monitor the market, but all indicators point to there being plenty of room for these different applications.”