German startup Hemovent raises $6M Series A to back small heart, lung machine

Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation system--Courtesy of Hemovent

Hemovent has raised a $6 million Series A financing to support the development of what it expects will be the world's smallest and first self-contained and fully portable Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) system to support or replace heart and lung function.

The round was led by Munich-based MIG Verwaltungs AG with additional mostly German investors including Portland, OR-based WCTI Partners, Seed Fond Aachen II, Bonn, Germany-based KfW Bank, NRW.BANK.Venture Fonds and PB Beteiligung- und Vermoegensverwaltung.

"ECMO markets are growing rapidly despite outdated technology. Hemovent's ECMO system is extremely robust, operates like a natural heart, weighs only about two pounds and needs neither battery nor software," said MIG Venture Partner Matthias Gut in a statement. "Now, for the first time, ECMO can be deployed easily as a completely portable and cost-effective life-saving technology for a fast-growing patient population."

The newly unveiled startup has yet to divulge any details on precisely how its ECMO system works. But the company seems optimistic that it can contribute to rapidly emerging change in the field.

"Recent advances in the application of ECMO have led to significant improvements in clinical outcomes. As a result, users are striving for an even earlier ECMO use and a broadening of the application, which will be realized with a fully portable ECMO system," said Dr. Ralf Muellenbach, Head of the ECMO Center at University Hospital in Wuerzburg, Germany.

ECMO is well established as a treatment for acute respiratory and circulatory failure, but the lack of portability and relative girth of devices can make it impractical to implement routinely.

"Every ECMO patient needs to be transported under severely restricted space conditions either within a hospital or from a referring clinic, or even from the field of an emergency incident. In the course of treatment patient mobilization is a critical success factor for ECMO. Hemovent's portable ECMO system is designed to reduce the footprint of the therapy by 90%," concluded Hemovent co-founder and CTO Dr. Oliver Marseille.

- here is the announcement