ALung Technologies has closed a $10 million Series B financing round as it prepares to launch its artificial lung in Germany this year. Participants in the round included existing shareholders, co-investors of Eagle Ventures and Birchmere Ventures.
The Pittsburgh-based company hopes to eventually sell its Hemolung, which helps patients with acute respiratory failure, in the U.S., but it will need at least $25 million more before it can do so, explained CEO Peter DeComo, as quoted by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He cited the expense of obtaining regulatory sign-offs in the EU and in the U.S. as the reason the company needs that much more in funding.
In the U.S. alone, the market for ALung's device could be $2.5 billion annually. But, in a theme echoed by other small devicemakers, it is less expensive to launch in the EU first, so the company will look to bolster sales there. The company recently finished a 20-patient study of the Hemolung in Germany and was encouraged by the results. ALung hopes to use the study data to obtain CE Mark approval, and investors are excited about the company's prospects. "The Hemolung device is the first truly new option for patients with acute respiratory failure in many years and ALung continues to make great progress toward commercializing the product," said Gary Glausser, partner at Birchmere Ventures, in a statement.
In December, DeComo said some of the money raised in the round will allow the company to hire three to 5 people in Pittsburgh, and a similar number in Europe. "Each country will be different," DeComo said at the time, as quoted by the Pittsburgh Business Times. "In Germany, we'll hire a few people. In Italy, we'll go through a distributor and not have to hire, but we will have to support the distributors. We'll hire a vice president of sales to run Europe for us, but we won't have a physical facility."