Spotlight Interview: Jack Huber, President, and Terrance Bayliss, CEO, Alaxo Airway Stents

About Jack Huber

Mr. Huber brings over 35 years of diverse business experience in the Private, Public and Government sector. Having owned a number of businesses in the Medical Device, Construction, Environmental, Retail and Oil and Gas sector. He has a background in business development, finance and corporate management and contract negotiation.

In 2014 & 2015 Mr. Huber was the COO for an aboriginal owned group of companies with diverse operations in energy services with over 1000 employees. Mr. Huber was integral in turning the companies around setting them up for growth and profitability.

Prior to that, Mr. Huber was a partner at Huber Electric Inc. Huber Electric was founded in in 1956 and completed numerous Industrial and commercial projects across Canada employing over 250 people primarily in western Canada and the Arctic.

The Company constructed power generation and underground power and communication distribution systems for Transport Canada, Defense Construction Canada and the Governments of the Northwest Territories and Yukon

Mr. Huber is a principle in an Environmental Remediation company focused on bringing water remediation solutions to markets for both Oil and Gas and Non Oil and gas markets.

Mr. Huber attended the Business Program at Grant MacEwan graduating in 1981.

About Terrance Bayliss

Mr. Bayliss is a business executive with over 35 year’s experience including forming startup companies that successfully introduced new products into the marketplace.

Startups include Medical Device, software development, construction, Retail, Real Estate development, Oil and Gas product distribution companies and Oil and Gas development. Mr. Bayliss has owned and developed over 40 million dollars of Real Estate, successfully managed over 200 employees. Mr. Bayliss has negotiated and completed over 200 million dollars of contracts in various industries over the past 35 years and successfully secured over 30 million dollars of conventional bank financing. Mr. Bayliss has also successfully taken a company public and sat as the President and CFO.

Mr. Bayliss has a hands on approach to business working throughout a company’s various segments to fully understand in order to achieve success. He attended NAIT Business School and majored in Accounting 1985.

About Alaxo Airway Stents

Alaxo offers FDA-cleared and Health Canada-registered, internationally patented, innovative stent-based therapies to support healthy, natural, nasal breathing solutions for snoring, sleep apnea, sleep disordered breathing and enhanced athletic performance. Alaxo stents mechanically splint the upper airway passage to allow for better airflow and easier breathing. Visit: https://alaxocanada.com/ or https://alaxousa.com/; Contact: info@alaxocanada.com or info@alaxousa.com


Medical Travel & Digital Health News (MTDHN): Can you tell our readers how you got involved with Alaxo?

Terrance Bayliss (TB): Alaxo was born out of the need to get better sleep. I struggled with getting quality sleep because I had trouble breathing while I slept.

I searched the world looking for a solution and tried everything on the market, apart from having surgery, which I thought about. I had a sleep study done and examinations, but never got a clear idea of what was going on with me.

Then I inadvertently stumbled across an app called SnoreLab, which records your sleep. The app makes graphs with the data it collects so you can monitor your sleeping. While using the app, I was able to hear that I was having tremendous problems with nasal breathing and that subsequently caused the loud snoring.

I wondered how I could fix this problem. I’d had first-hand experience with the medical use of heart stents because my father was among the first hundred patients in Canada to receive a by-pass operation. This made me think about designing a stent for the nose to open up the airways. This would allow for better airflow, eliminate noisy breathing and improve sleep quality.

That is when I came across Alaxo in Germany.

MTDHN: Do you use this product personally? And can you tell us about your experience using the stents?


TB: Yes, I use the stents myself. They gave me back considerable quality of life because sleep is so important. I have virtually eliminated my snoring since using the stents.

My dreaming had almost completely subsided for about 30 years, so I knew I wasn’t getting deep sleep, which is vital for physical and mental recovery. I was mentally sluggish during the day.

Now, because of the stents, I get quality sleep and feel energized throughout the day, which is in direct relation to more oxygenation to the brain. These nasal stents have changed my life. We have several hundred patients who have also experienced these life-changing benefits.

We’ve rolled out thousands of these products in the United States and Canada and have a long list of very successful patient outcomes.


MTDHN: Can you give us some background information on Alaxo and the products they offer? 

TB: Alaxo started rolling out nasal stents in Germany. They are easy-to-use, reusable nasal stents that last for 500 nights.

These products are for people who snore, have sleep apnea, trouble sleeping due to breathing issues and athletes looking to enhance their physical performance.

This medical device can be inserted by the patient into their nose at night and removed in the morning.

The design of the stent braid is made from shape memory metal nitinol. It has a ball-shaped widening that gets positioned at the nasal valve, while the cylindrical longer portion opens the turbinates. For the past two years we’ve refined the designs of the nasal stents to make them as patient friendly as possible.

The nasal stents really work and deliver long-term positive effects. 

MTDHN: Do the nasal stents complement or replace CPAP, which is the technology that can be difficult for patients to use at night? Is this something patients can travel with?


TB: Our nasal stents are complementary for the CPAP because opening the nasal airway will allow better air flow with the CPAP.

When your nasal structure is collapsed or plugged you can’t run air through it. So, the effectiveness of CPAP with nasal pillows is limited because your turbinates are plugged and good oxygenation is not possible. Our stents can open up the nasal structure and allow the CPAP to be more effective.

Using nasal stents can make it much easier to travel for people who use a CPAP machine. If you are traveling somewhere where you will not have electricity, like camping for example, you can still use your nasal stents to get a good night’s sleep because you don’t need to plug anything in.

You can tell from the photo comparing the size of the stents to the CPAP machine, it would be easier to travel with the stents.


MTDHN: How do the stents compare to a CPAP machine?


TB: From the perspective of someone who has used a CPAP machine, I would say it’s a very cumbersome apparatus – not only to the person using it, but also for a spouse or partner.

It is also difficult to keep them clean and there is some work behind using them.

The stents are easier to care for and with long-term use are equally or more effective than a CPAP machine.

MTDHN: Is it FDA cleared and is there coverage or reimbursement for it under most health plans?


TB: Yes, our stents are FDA and Health Canada cleared. In the United States, we have a billing code where it is being covered by several different insurers.

MTDHN: Can you share the credentials of the doctors who are working with Alaxo?


TB: We have several doctors including Dr. KJ Lee, our chief educational officer, and Dr. Mark D’Agostino, our chief medical advisor.

Dr. Lee is on the 12th edition of writing books for otolaryngology that ENTs around the world study. He’s consulted to different presidential administrations and is recognized globally for his contributions to the ENT community.

Dr. D’Agostino is one of the founding members of the International Sleep Surgery Society and has a prominent background in the ENT field.

Alaxo is very fortunate to have the best experts in the ENT industry as advisors. We are also starting to work clinically with respirologists, allergists and experts in the sleep community.

MTDHN: Can you walk us through the process from recognizing a sleep disorder to getting a prescription for the stents?

Jack Huber (JH): We recommend learning about Alaxo stents and discussing this option with your doctor to get a prescription. If the patient doesn’t have a doctor, we can coordinate a telehealth appointment so they can discuss their symptoms with a medical professional.

After getting the prescription, the patient can order online, and we send installation and cleaning materials, as well as instructions for using and properly wearing the stents.

MTDHN: What happens after the patient receives the stents?


JH: After they receive their stents, we do a personal follow-up phone call to walk them through the initial stages. We also have our own helpline where the patient can reach out at any time with questions. After 30 days we have a second follow-up to learn about the patient’s experience and comfort levels.

We have a very hands-on approach with our patients. The compliance is substantially higher than CPAP acceptance. I would say that our patients are about 95% compliant.


MTDHN: In addition to the improved sleep and mental acuity, do these stents also help with sports performance?

JH: Absolutely. I suffer from bad seasonal allergies, so I wear the stents during the day and throughout the night. It does not eliminate my runny nose or runny eyes, but it keeps the airway passage open.

We realized that the stents could be used more than just at night. We conducted clinical studies in Germany where we demonstrated the stents can increase airflow by up to 47% in healthy nasal passages.

Because of this they can be used during the day to help improve athletic performance, which is why we’re working with various sports groups. We have a partnership with the NFL alumni and are working with a group involved with the PGA tour. We have also finalized a deal with the Canadian Football League.

We are also in the process of collaborating with the NHL, MLB, NBA and different soccer groups across North America.


MTDHN: Are there any professions that you think would benefit from this?

JH: Professional truck drivers can wear our stents in combination with an oral appliance or CPAP while on the road and driving when they are in their sleepers. This helps improve their quality of sleep.

Some of them struggle to use CPAP machines so we have partnered with a group called Healthy Trucking of America (HTA). This organization has reached out to over 800,000 members, and we will be working with them to give professional drivers across the United States and Canada a solution that improves sleep and overall health.

The HTA found that over 61% of their drivers reported sleep disorder issues. Other studies show more than one-third of commercial truck drivers have sleep apnea, and many do not know it.

Alaxo stents offer these drivers relief from sleep disorders and enhances their quality of sleep. Truck drivers are on the road for extended periods of time and often have to sleep in confined truck areas, so improved sleep is very important for this group.

MTDHN: How much do stents cost for those who don’t have insurance coverage?

JH: We have a number of product variations. Our AlaxoLito, which splits the nasal alar, costs $495 CAD. Our AlaxoLito Plus, which splints the complete nasal passage, costs $695 CAD. Our Sport costs $795 CAD and our AlaxoStent costs $974 CAD.


MTDHN: How does that compare to the costs of CPAP?
JH: Our AlaxoStent, which is for stents of soft palate, is our most expensive stent. The cost per day is $2.19 cents compared to a CPAP machine, including the filters and masks, which cost $5.19 per day. We’re less than half the price.

MTDHNI: What are your distribution plans?
JH: We are shipping directly to North America from our distribution component to make stents more available.

We have finalized a deal with a telemedicine provider to provide stents through pharmacies in Canada and plan to expand in the United States through telemedicine and a wider distribution for pharmacy pick up.

MTDHN: Is there anything else that you’d like our audience to know? I think we have a lot of employers and brokers and intermediaries who may want to bring it to their workforce.
JH: Better sleep leads to a more efficient and safer workforce and overall better health and well-being for individuals.

So, if there are organizations that would like to implement our solution, we would be happy to work with them on an organizational basis.

We’ve had users tell us that our stents saved their lives. That is very gratifying to hear for our entire Alaxo team and a testament to the work we do to get this important medical device to more people.

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