[caption id="attachment_47573" align="alignright" width="300"] Sanovas' first product is the Vas Zeppelin catheter-based microsurgery system.[/caption]

SAUSALITO -- Medical technology developer Sanovas, Inc. today said it received its first patent for systems and methods for removing hard-to-reach lung growths or tumors.

Sanovas, which develops microinvasive diagnostics, devices and drug delivery technologies, said the "notice of allowance" from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved 40 claims in connection with the technology, which enables an entirely new system and method of airway and vessel intervention.

"Pulmonary disease is a global epidemic," said Chief Executive Officer Larry Gerrans in a statement. "We are leading the efforts to combat the disease and are making a meaningful contribution to patient survival. Our platform is designed to become a ubiquitous set of next-generation tools that will enable others to launch therapy-enabling solutions of their own."

The latest patent, written by Sanovas founders Erhan Gunday and Mr. Gerrans, is one of more than 45 patents written by the pair and assigned to the company to protect its assets in pulmonary disease, natural orifice surgery and robotics, the company said.

The new intellectual-property protection covers elements that Sanovas says are "vital" to the company's Vas Zeppelin Smart Catheter line of products. It includes what's claimed to be the world's smallest surgical camera and helps in removing obstructive pathology while allowing for the delivery of drug and immune therapies to patients suffering from lung cancer as well as related pulmonary and vascular diseases.

Sanovas' technologies are intended to access, image, measure and diagnose anatomy in small airways and vessels smaller than 3 millimeters in diameter.

"The allowance of this patent significantly strengthens Sanovas' intellectual property portfolio in the U.S. and represents an important validation of our groundbreaking microsurgical technology platform," Mr. Gerrans said. "In addition to expanding coverage of the Vas Zeppelin technology, which is protected by more than 45 U.S. and international patents pending, this is another step towards introducing the Vas Zeppelin for the treatment of one of the largest and fastest-growing diseases in the world."