There are more than 15 million Americans who suffer from COPD and 3.5 million of those patients have emphysema. Over one million emphysema patients suffer symptoms of hyperinflation where air becomes trapped in the lungs and it prevents fresh air from entering the lungs causing severe shortness of breath. This is a problem that Pulmonx is addressing.
Pulmonx is known for its Zephyr Valve — which is a less invasive treatment option for severe emphysema/COPD that has been shown to deliver life-changing benefits without the risks of major surgery. And the clinical benefits include improved quality of life, less shortness of breath, and the ability to be more active.
The Zephyr Valves are placed in a single bronchoscopic procedure with no incision. And the procedure carries much less risk than surgical options such as lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) and lung transplantation.
As part of the procedure, an average of four Zephyr Valves are placed in the airways to block off to block a diseased portion of the lung — which is thereby reduced in size. And reducing hyperinflation and preventing air from getting trapped in the diseased parts of the lung allows healthier lung tissue to expand and absorb more air. As a result, patients are able to breathe easier and have less shortness of breath.
The Zephyr Valves is FDA-approved through an expedited review. The FDA said that it “represents a breakthrough technology as the device offers bronchoscopic lung volume reduction without surgery and its associated risks. This device offers a significant, clinically meaningful advantage over the current standard of care and therefore its availability, is also in the best interest of patients.”
Over 15,000 patients have been treated with the Zephyr Valve worldwide since 2007. And the Zephyr Valve treatment is included in emphysema treatment guidelines issued by leading health organizations worldwide including the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) and the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
Pulmonx recently announced that it has raised $65 million in an oversubscribed $65 million equity financing round. This financing was led by Ally Bridge Group — which is a global life science-dedicated investment group. New investors RTW Investments, ArrowMark Partners, and Driehaus Capital Management joined this round along with existing investors.
“We are grateful to have attracted substantial new investment from this distinguished group of private and public healthcare investors,” said Pulmonx president and CEO Glen French.
And the company also hired Derrick Sung, Ph.D. as its Chief Financial Officer. Sung has more than 20 years of finance and strategy experience across multiple facets of the medical device industry. Before joining Pulmonx, Sung was EVP of Strategy & Corporate Development at iRhythm Technologies. And before iRhythm, Sung worked on Wall Street for seven years as the senior equity research analyst covering the medical device sector for Sanford C. Bernstein & Company. Plus he worked as the Director of Marketing and Business Development in Boston Scientific’s Neuromodulation Division, a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group, and R&D engineer designing heart catheters for Guidant.
“Pulmonx also welcomes Derrick Sung, Ph.D., as our new Chief Financial Officer,” added French. “In this new role Derrick will lead and further strengthen the company’s outstanding finance team, and directly contribute to strategic and operational imperatives. I very much look forward to working with Derrick to realize the full potential of Pulmonx.”
In conjunction with this funding round, Ally Bridge Group managing director and partner Charles Chon was added to the Pulmonx board. “We are very pleased to welcome Charles Chon, Partner and Managing Director of Ally Bridge Group’s medical technologies effort to the Pulmonx Board of Directors,” added Pulmonx’s chairman of the board Rodney Perkins, MD.