Spirometrix said yesterday that it raised $17.4 million in the 1st tranche of its Series C round for the breath-based diagnostic device it’s developing for asthma patients.
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical (SHA:600196) led the round, joined by prior investors NGK Spark Plug, South Valley Angels, Iconical, Ohio Innovation Foundation and Carmen Innovation, Spirometrix said.
The Fenom Pro device is designed to measure the fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) in exhaled breath, a biomarker for asthma. The Pleasanton, Calif.-based company, founded in 2011, said the device is based on sensor technology developed at the Ohio State University by Prabir Dutta. Spirometrix said its system also tracks data from other devices and monitors local pollen counts, pollution indices and air quality, looking to recognize and manage patterns.
Spirometrix said it’s raised a total of $29 million since its inception.
“We are extremely pleased not only to have Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical as a major financial and strategic partner in China, but also that our Series A and B lead investors have participated in this third round of financing,” CEO Dean Zikria said in prepared remarks. “This Series C funding underwrites a launch-pad for Spirometrix to commercialize its initial product, the Fenom Pro point-of-care breathalyzer, a 1st-of-its-kind offering in asthma that comprises several sensors as well as a digital ecosystem designed to prompt evidence that may lead to enhanced clinical decision support.”
“Lately, air pollution in China has triggered public consciousness to proactively manage health, especially in regard of respiratory health and wellness. By investing in Spirometrix, we hope to empower the public with a tool that not only better diagnoses asthma, but also actively monitors and manages this chronic disease,” added Fosun Pharma chairman Chen Qiyu.
Zikria said the funds will go toward finalizing the development of a hand-held breathalyzer for home use and for product launches in the U.S. and the European Union within a year.
“FeNO monitoring in the management of asthma patients at the point of care has the potential to optimize asthma therapy, improve compliance of medication use and decrease the need for emergency visits and hospitalization,” Spirometrix scientific advisor Dr. James Wolfe of Stanford University said in a press release. “It should be noted that both American Thoracic Society and European Respiratory Society have issued guidelines recommending FeNO testing for the assessment, management, and long-term monitoring of asthma.”