Nuvaira, a Minneapolis-based developer of therapeutic medical devices for treating certain lung diseases, announced Monday it had closed a $79 million financing round. The capital will be used to support a clinical trial for Nuvaira’s Lung Denervation System, a catheter-based treatment meant as an alternative to drug therapy.
"We are thrilled to have such a strong consortium of top-tier investors in this financing as a clear vote of confidence in our work and the performance of our novel catheter-based system,” says Nuvaria CEO Dennis Wahr.
U.S. Venture Partners led the funding round, with other contributions coming from new investors Endeavor Vision, Qiming Venture Partners, Lightstone Ventures, and the Richard King Mellon Foundation, as well as from Nuvaira’s existing investors. These include Advanced Technology Ventures, Morgenthaler Ventures, Split Rock Partners, Versant Ventures, Vertex Venture Holdings, and Windham Venture Partners.
In a procedure called Targeted Lung Denervation (TLD), Nuvaira’s Lung Denervation System addresses airway hyper-responsiveness, an underpinning of both cardiovascular obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. Nuvairia’s system is designed to go after obstructions caused by specific overactive airway nerves. The Lung Denervation System’s unique approach uses a special catheter, the dNerva™ Dual Cooled Radiofrequency Catheter, to open the obstructed airways and improve breathing.
Nuvaira’s Lung Denervation System’s proprietary technology has already been tested in three clinical studies.
The $79 million will go in part toward the next stage trial, dubbed Airflow-3. The trial will eventually position Nuvaira’s device for FDA approval. Moreover, the Airflow-3 trial is the first of its kind by any interventional pulmonary company.
"We see TLD potentially filling an unmet need for our COPD patients who continue to have exacerbations while on maximal guideline-based pharmacologic therapy,” says Dr. Frank Sciurba, a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center professor and the U.S. principal investigator of Nuvaira's Airflow-3 trial.
The new capital will also go toward implementation of a “targeted clinical development strategy in key European markets,” Nuvaira says.
The successful funding round comes at the same time as a new hire. Nuvaira announced Monday that it has added Lisa Rogan to its executive team, in the role of senior vice president of market development.
"We are extremely excited to have Lisa Rogan join our executive team at Nuvaira," says Wahr. "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."
Rogan has worked in the medical device industry for more than 20 years, and her experience includes, in particular, work with interventional pulmonary devices for COPD patients.