Rochester Medical Device Startup Pneumeric Nets $2.2M Raise
Unlike lots of founders in the current era, Pneumeric Inc. CEO Dr. Johnathan Aho ended up with more money than expected when he went looking for investor dollars.
In its first round of funding, Pneumeric raised just over $2.2 million, according to a July 25 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Aho said the company had only planned on raising about $1.5 million.
As the funding tap slows for founders across several industries, health and health technology companies have emerged as one apparent bright spot. Pneumeric, a Rochester-based startup spun out of Mayo Clinic research, sells a device called Capnospot that’s designed to treat a collapsed lung.
Also known as a pneumothorax, a collapsed lung occurs when air collects in the fluid-filled space surrounding the lungs. Pneumeric’s device is designed to treat a specific condition known as tension pneumothorax, a form of collapsed lung that can be fatal and requires immediate medical attention. Aho described it as “choking from the inside of the chest.”
To treat it, medical workers insert an angiocatheter needle into the chest to decompress the air surrounding the lungs. Emergency workers generally only know if the treatment is successful by listening for a gush of air after inserting the needle.
In emergency situations, though, it can be tough to hear that gush of air. “They could be doing this procedure in an ambulance, a helicopter, a battlefield,” Aho said in a Monday afternoon interview. “You don’t really hear anything very well in those environments.”
That’s where Pneumeric’s device comes in. The Capnospot is attached to the end of an angiocatheter, and, in addition to that gush of air, the device changes color in the presence of carbon dioxide. This informs medical staff that the decompression was successful, Aho said.
In March, Pneumeric received permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin marketing and selling the Capnospot.
“We think it’s going to be the standard of care for how tension pneumothorax is handled going forward,” Aho said.
The company’s $2.2 million raise came from a combination of angel investor groups, medical device investors, and other accredited investors, Aho said.
Aho said that medical workers around the country have already started using the Capnospot. He said that Pneumeric’s current customer base includes civilian emergency medical services groups and firefighting organizations. Within the next couple quarters, though, Aho expects to begin selling the product to the Department of Defense.
Today, Pneumeric employs four people full time, along with one contractor. The company was founded in 2021.