Nuvaira raises $79M for lung nerve ablation procedure for COPD and asthma

Nuvaira has raised $79 million in equity financing to continue late-stage clinical development of its device-based treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in the U.S.

The Minneapolis-based company’s minimally invasive, one-time procedure uses a bronchoscope and a radiofrequency ablation balloon catheter to target the nerves located along the outside of the airway.

By interrupting overactive or hyper-responsive nerve signals in the lung, the Nuvaira aims to see a relaxation and opening of the airway, as well as a decrease in mucus production, to alleviate symptoms of COPD or severe asthma.

The CE-marked targeted lung denervation system has already gone through three clinical studies—including a sham-controlled randomized trial presented last year at the European Respiratory Society International Congress, which showed a relative reduction of COPD issues by 50%. While there are pharmaceutical treatments that target the same pathway, the trial appeared to show additional benefits by pairing them with the denervation procedure.

"These funds will be used to support the pivotal AIRFLOW-3 clinical trial for FDA approval and to implement a targeted clinical development strategy in key European markets," said Nuvaira CEO Dennis Wahr in a statement.

The funding round was led by U.S. Venture Partners, along with new backing from Endeavour Vision, Qiming Venture Partners, Lightstone Ventures and the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

Nuvaira's previous investors also joined the round, including Advanced Technology Ventures, Morgenthaler Ventures, Split Rock Partners, Versant Ventures, Vertex Venture Holdings and Windham Venture Partners.

In addition, Nuvaira also brought on Lisa Rogan to be its senior VP of market development. Rogan was previously a senior VP at PneumRx, part of BTG, leading global marketing and therapy development strategy. She has also served as VP of marketing at Pulmonx.

"We are extremely excited to have Lisa Rogan join our executive team at Nuvaira," Wahr said. "She has a deep understanding and knowledge of the pulmonary field having spent the past decade in it, and she brings with her great business acumen and expertise in accessing new markets."