ALung nabs $36M for ‘respiratory dialysis’ device

The HemoLung removes carbon dioxide from and delivers oxygen to patients' blood, allowing their lungs to heal. Image: ALung Technologies

ALung Technologies, which is working on artificial lung technology for patients with respiratory failure, raised $36 million in a Series C round. The funds will drive a U.S. pivotal trial of the device.

The FDA granted the Pittsburgh-based company an Expedited Access Pathway designation for its HemoLung Respiratory Assist System in 2015. The system is designed to remove carbon dioxide from and deliver oxygen to a patient’s blood independently of his or her lungs. It may be used to avoid intubating patients or putting them on a mechanical ventilator.

The CE-marked device includes a catheter, inserted in a patient’s superior or inferior vena cava and transports blood from the body to the HemoLung cartridge, which combines a centrifugal blood pump and a gas exchange membrane. A controller continuously measures and displays the amount of carbon dioxide removed from the blood, allowing caregivers to adjust settings as needed.

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“Since 2013, hundreds of patients with acute respiratory failure have been successfully treated with the Hemolung RAS outside of the United States,” said ALung CEO Peter DeComo, in a statement. “With this new financing, we will be able to conduct our U.S.-based clinical trial, an important step towards obtaining FDA approval and making our device available to patients in the United States.”

Philips and UPMC Enterprises, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s venture arm, led the round, with participation from other new and existing backers. Alung raised $15.8 million in its Series B-1 round in 2013.