Spiration said Friday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of its technology to control prolonged air leaks of the...

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Spiration said Friday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of its technology to control prolonged air leaks of the lung.

The Redmond company said the agency granted a rare Humanitarian Device Exemption from a more rigorous process.

It’s the first FDA approval for a bronchial valve implant, the company said. The device consists of valves that can be inserted inside the lung’s airways through a catheter.

The FDA allows some devices to be marketed for humanitarian use if they treat a condition that affects less than 4,000 U.S. patients per year.