U.S. Army drafts SeQual's portable concentrator

Sunday, September 3, 2006

SAN DIEGO - August proved to be a big month for SeQual Technologies.
On the 14th, the company announced the commercial launch of its 17-pound portable concentrator, the Eclipse Oxygen System. Two weeks later, on the 28th, the U.S. Army awarded SeQual a $5 million contract to develop the next generation of the Eclipse to be used wherever the military needs it, including combat zones.

The contract is an extension of an initial Army deal awarded in 2004. That investment helped SeQual develop the Eclipse. The unit, while 7 to 12 pounds heavier than competing products, is the only one that provides continuous flow (up to 3 liters per minute) in addition to pulse dose technology.

"It is awesome to have a relationship like that," said Pam Jackson, SeQual's director of marketing. "I go to all the military shows, and when I have two and three star generals come up to look at our product and they know about it, and say, 'We believe in what you are doing.' That makes me feel incredible about our product and our technology and our company."

The Army currently uses a small number of the Eclipse, but expects the next generation device--projected for FDA clearance and production in 2008--to solve a major logistical challenge and potentially save the Army millions of dollars a year. The Army currently ships oxygen in 125-pound steel canisters, and with 15% of the military's patient population needing oxygen, it's easy to see the appeal in a more portable system, said Mark F. Arnold, product manager, field medical oxygen for Army Medical Research and Material Command at Fort Detrick, Md.