Supersensitive sensor to detect asthma/COPD receives $8.6M in funding

Pleasanton, CA's Spirometrix raised $8.6 million in funding for a sensor to detect and treat asthma and COPD, in a round led by Japan's NGK Spark Plugs, which gave $5 million.

That pushes the company's total haul to $12 million, MobiHealthNews reports.

One minute after the user breathes into the clinical-stage device for 10 seconds, it returns results based on the measurement of nitric oxide in the user's exhalation. The device's sensor can pick up as little as 5 parts of nitric oxide per billion, according to MobiHealthNews.

For NGK, the funding marks a move toward entering the med tech world.

Spirometrix CEO J. Dean Zikria

"We are excited to have NGK as an investor, strategic partner, and member of our board of directors, given NGK's commitment to high-quality sensor design and manufacturing," Spirometrix CEO J. Dean Zikria said in a statement, according to MobiHealthNews. "This is a significant step in our strategy of creating a unique offering in the asthma space that includes sensors as well as a digital ecosystem allowing for insights leading to better clinical decision support."

Zikria was formerly employed by industry bigwigs like Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) and Pfizer ($PFE).

Other startups interested in respiratory devices, according to MobiHealthNews, are Poland's MySpiroo, Greece's Respi, and Mark Cuban-backed Breathometer. Unlike Spirometrix, their plans involve the use of a smartphone.

- read the article in MobiHealthNews

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