Touchdown! Minnetronix Scores with Product to Treat Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

December 8, 2015 - Jeff Clark, Senior Product Leader



“Touchdown” is the Minnetronix code name for a product we build for United Therapeutics Corporation (UTC) for a reason. That is, patients score in a big way every time they use the nebulizer we build in conjunction with the drug Treprostinil that UTC manufactures. Together, as the Tyvaso® System, they create a prostacyclin vasodilator indicated for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) to improve exercise ability.

On November 17, 2015, Minnetronix had the privilege of hosting a short talk by Lisa Rivers, UTC’s Senior Director of Clinical Product Training, where she described what the disease is, what happens in the blood vessels in the lungs when one has PAH, signs and symptoms of PAH, and how the UTC Tyvaso® System is used as a prostacyclin therapy. Symptoms of PAH include dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, swollen ankles, and fatigue. The Tyvaso® System, in short, helps restore the blood vessel walls closer to normal thickness so that blood flow, and therefore oxygen exchange, improves from what it would be without the therapy. Doing so helps to diminish one or more of these symptoms.

While it is important for us at Minnetronix to understand what the products we design and build do, and how they do it, the really cool thing about hearing from a person like Ms. Rivers, who works directly with the end user, is how the product affects the actual patient – and makes lives better. Hearing from a clinical trainer, like Ms. Rivers, enables us to get closer to the actual patient, something I know many of us, especially those in manufacturing that don’t typically get exposure to the design requirements, yearn to do. In fact, after the presentation, I visited the manufacturing floor to ask the assembly staff what they thought about the presentation. The universal answer I received was that they really felt motivated by hearing about the improvements to the life of a person rather than the first pass yield or the production output that month. Not that those things aren’t important, but the personal impact was more powerful and motivating. Short of hearing from an actual patient directly, I can’t think of a better way to keep us connected with patients and how the products we make improve lives.