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01 Jan 2005 | Australasian Dental Practice

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SomnoMed moves into new purpose-built premises

SomnoMed Ltd (ASX:SOM), which markets and manufacturers a patented mandibular advancement splint (MAS) for the treatment of snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), has moved into its new purpose-built facility in the Sydney suburb of Crows Nest.

"Prior to occupying our new premises in December, we had been operating from temporary facilities," said Ms Ashley Anderson, Chief Operations Officer at SomnoMed. "It's a good feeling to finally have our permanent premises constructed so we can get on with building the business this year.

"Our operation is based around a network of professionals which results in the dentist prescribing our SomnoMed MAS and our premises reflect this with manufacturing, telemarketing, dispatch and administration all centralised here. The only way a member of the public can obtain the SomnoMed MAS is through a dentist and as such, part of our business plan revolves around generating public interest and driving business to our affiliated dentists."

Ms Anderson said that in the months prior to the company's float on the Australian Stock Exchange on August 27, they extensively researched and perfected the ideal way to produce the patented custom-made device en masse.

In addition to this, a method of systematic diagnosis was developed in conjunction with SomnoMed's Medical Advisory Board to provide dentists with a clear set of guidelines and protocols for prescribing the device or alternatively, referring treatment to a GP.

Further, a system of communication between prescribing dentists and the laboratory at SomnoMed was developed to ensure the splints could be produced accurately to streamline the process, virtually eliminating remakes and minimising chair time for patients.

"Prior to the float, we invested considerable time and energy into developing what amounts to a complete turnkey system for delivering the SomnoMed MAS to patients. The system we've developed is designed to give our affiliate dentists complete confidence in dealing with patients who snore or have mild OSA. There are no longer any grey areas - the systems and protocols we have in place deal with every eventuality including referral if circumstances dictate.

"Following the float, it's literally been a hive of activity here. As soon as we obtained the required market capitalisation, we commenced constructing the new premises. At the same time, we commenced delivering the professional seminar program for prescribing dentists to become affiliated with SomnoMed and also began trial marketing of the product to the public."

The SomnoMed MAS is designed to treat snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). It's unique construction allows unrestricted opening of the mouth by the wearer and sufficient lateral movement. According to Ms Anderson, while other devices lock the jaws together, the unique "Fin Coupling Mechanism" of the SomnoMed device is key to its functionality and overall user-friendliness.

"Another reason our device is becoming so popular is that it is constructed from high quality acrylic," Ms Anderson said. "Splints are often made from PVC using laminating techniques in the same manner as mouthguards and bleaching trays. Our acrylic is very strong and won't discolour or de-laminate over time."

All SomnoMed MAS devices carry a unique serial number so the company can track who the device was made for, the prescribing dentist and the date of the sale to administer the warranty.

The new facility the company has built occupies an entire floor of an office block of 422 square metres. It incorporates a fully equipped dental laboratory for manufacturing the device, a call centre to traffic calls from the public generated by ongoing marketing and modern corporate offices.

From the beginning of 2005, SomnoMed will commence full implementation of its long-term marketing campaign to the public to educate and raise awareness of snoring and OSA and to then drive business to dentists who have completed the necessary training course to prescribe the device.

"Our goals were to be operating and manufacturing from the new premises by the end of 2004 and have a core group of dentists working with the device, we successfully accomplished these primary objectives, and we are now ready for the second stage with the new year." Ms Anderson said.



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