Senior Staff Writer
ALung Technologies (Pittsburgh) said it has closed on a new financing of about $10 million from new and existing investors. The proceeds will primarily support ongoing commercialization of the company's Hemolung respiratory assist system (RAS), a low-flow, minimally invasive ECO2R system.
Indications for the device include cases of acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). A controlled launch of the device was initiated in mid-2013. ALung said that based on "positive market reception" commercial roll-out of the Hemolung RAS has been accelerated in Germany, the UK, France, Canada, and Australia. The device is approved in 29 countries across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific.
"These new funds will allow us to accelerate the global commercialization of the Hemolung technology," Peter DeComo, chairman/CEO of ALung said in a statement. "Our controlled launch process was very successful with the product having been tested and validated by leading physicians at 43 hospitals in 13 countries, and as a result, therapy utilization has increased quarter over quarter. Our offering of a simpler and less-invasive form of extracorporeal lung support has been well received, and we continue to be excited by the clinical results reported by our users."
The Hemolung RAS was designed to be a dialysis-like alternative or supplement to mechanical ventilation.
"We see increasing market demand for innovative extracorporeal lung support technologies and believe that the Hemolung RAS is well positioned to meet this important clinical need," DeComo said.
Medical Device Daily spoke with DeComo last year when the company reported raising $15.8 million in its Series B-1 round, which was at the time among the largest of the year in Pittsburgh's life sciences market (Medical Device Daily, Sept. 12, 2013). He said at that time that while attracting investors in the current financial environment is tough, the right strategy plus a differentiating technology makes it possible. At that time the company had raised a total of $56 million in equity capital.
DeComo explained to MDD at the time of the Series B-1 closing that ALung had started a reference center program in which it engages with "very prestigious institutions" in the company's target markets of Europe, Canada, and Australia. He said the company wanted to provide those institutions the opportunity to have initial use of the technology and conduct therapy sessions on appropriate patients who have the right indications.
That reference center program was not designed to generate revenue or to force broad-scale adoption of the technology, DeComo said. It was intended to validate the therapy and use the data from those early cases to support a broader commercialization launch this year and also to test the company's distribution channels.
ALung was founded in 1997 as a spin-out of the University of Pittsburgh, and DeComo has been the company's CEO since 2009 (MDD, Dec. 23, 2008).
In other financing activity:
• Teleflex (Wayne, Pennsylvania) said it priced its offering of $250 million aggregate principal amount of 5.25% senior notes due 2024 at an issue price of 100% in a private placement. The sale of the notes is expected to close May 21. The company said it intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to repay nearly $245 million of borrowings under its revolving credit facility.
Teleflex makes specialty devices for a range of procedures in critical care and surgery.
• GlassesOff (New York) said it completed a private placement of about 4 million shares of common stock to new and existing investors, which provides gross proceeds to the company of $5 million. The lead investor in the offering is an affiliate of Cowen Group.
GlassesOff develops vision sharpness applications. The firm has developed a technology platform to improve near vision sharpness through exercise, by improving the image processing function in the visual cortex of the brain, without changing the optical characteristics of the eye. The GlassesOff product has been designed to eliminate the dependency on reading glasses of people over the age of 40 who experience natural age-related changes in their near vision sharpness. The GlassesOff product is expected to be sold initially as an iPhone/iPad app, the company said.