Armenia-Based Firm Granted License to Manufacture NASA’s Covid-19 Ventilators

NASA-Covid-Ventilator-feature
A front-facing portrait of VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), a ventilator designed and built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. (Phoro by NASA/JPL-Caltech)

A front-facing portrait of VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), a ventilator designed and built by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. (Phoro by NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The Armenia-based YEA Engineering company is one of the firms in the world that has been granted a license by NASA to manufacture ventilators developed by the space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for treatment of COVID-19 patients.

This places the Armenia firmly among 27 esteemed global licensees selected from more than 330 applicants from 42 countries.

Ten Armenians were among a team of engineers at JPL who developed the ventilator in just 37 days and received emergency approval by the Food and Drug Administration on April 30.

In May, one of the JPL engineers, Arbi Karapetian, spoke to Asbarez Editor Ara Khachatourian and described the process and the work that it took the JPL team to develop the ventilator under social distancing guidelines.

Watch the Asbarez interview

In addition to nine companies from the United States, three companies from Brazil, four from India, and one each from Armenia, Australia, Canada, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nigeria, Portugal, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates have also been approved by NASA to manufacture the ventilators.

The prototype of the ventilator, which was created by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineers, received an Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on April 30.

Called VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), the high-pressure ventilator was designed to use one-seventh the parts of a traditional ventilator, relying on parts already available in supply chains. It offers a simpler, more affordable option for treating critical patients while freeing up traditional ventilators for those with the most severe COVID-19 symptoms. Its flexible design means it also can be modified for use in field hospitals.

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