Petaluma biotech company Oculus Innovative Sciences has licensed the rights to a new medical device designed to prevent pneumonia in patients on breathing machines.

Oculus acquired the endotracheal tube technology from the National Institutes of Health, which will receive royalties from sales of the device.

Other terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

There is a $380 million global market for the technology, according to Hoji Alimi, Oculus' CEO.

"This is an opportunity to significantly reduce patient risk of pneumonia — even death," he said.

About 300,000 U.S. patients a year fall victim to "ventilator-associated pneumonia," the result of microorganisms invading the respiratory tract and lung tissue while the patient is on a ventilator.

The new device prevents germs from entering the body when a patient is getting ventilation through an endotracheal tube. It has not yet been approved by federal regulators.

Oculus makes a liquid cleansing solution called Microcyn that would be used with the device.

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