AYALA-LED Integrated Micro-Electronics, Inc. (IMI) is looking to locally manufacture a ventilator system designed by its United Kingdom-based subsidiary for use by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients.

The listed electronics manufacturer said its subsidiary Surface Technology International Ltd. (STI) is exploring a non-invasive alternative ventilator that uses the Ventura Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device solution.

CPAP is a type of ventilator that uses mild air pressure to help COVID-19 patients that are experiencing difficulty breathing. IMI said its proposed solution is a “non-profit initiative based on an existing off-patent CPAP system that has been further modified to optimize oxygen consumption.”

“IMI is studying the possibility of locally manufacturing the system, in collaboration with the Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Health Technologies (IBEHT) of De La Salle University,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

IMI and STI are working with medical experts, health practitioners and concerned government agencies through information-sharing sessions on how to use the Ventura CPAP system.

The Ventura CPAP system has already been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency for use in the United Kingdom. The design is licensed from the University College London Hospital (UCLH) and Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains under special conditions particularly for use in COVID-19 cases.

IMI said UCLH has found 60-70% success in sustaining COVID-19 patients using the Ventura CPAP system.

STI is a member of the United Kingdom consortium, VentilatorChallengeUK, which produces medical ventilators used by COVID-19 patients. It specializes in manufacturing tools used in aerospace, defense and security, as well as energy, healthcare and industrials.

IMI booked a net loss of $4.62 million in the first quarter, bigger than the $335,000 posted last year, due to an industry-wide slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its shares at the stock exchange gained 26 centavos or 5% to close at P5.46 each on Tuesday. — Denise A. Valdez