Ventec Life Systems, the Seattle-area creator of a unique portable life support device, has raised another $13 million to scale its production and bring the device to markets around the world, GeekWire has learned.
The new funding brings the company’s total funds raised to just over $40 million and will help fuel its growth as it moves to open a new facility and roll out its device on a larger scale. Select patients have been using the device, called VOCSN, since it was approved by the FDA last year.
“Ventec Life Systems has exceeded the $12 million goal in the Series D offering and has raised approximately $42 million to date,” the company said in a statement. “By the end of the year, Ventec Life Systems will triple manufacturing space with the opening of a new office park in Bothell. Looking ahead, the company is focused on commercializing VOCSN and expanding R&D initiatives.”
None of Ventec’s funding to date has been traditional venture funding — instead, the company has raised funds from more than 100 family and friend investors, many of whom are also in the medical device and ventilation industries.
The company’s VOCSN system is unique in the life support space. It combines ventilation, oxygen, cough, suction and nebulization (medication delivery) services in one portable device and lets a user switch between services using the same hardware.
That means a patient using the device as a ventilator doesn’t have to switch to a different machine to clear their lungs of fluid or take breathable medication, which Ventec says makes the device easier to use and also lowers the risk of complications like infections. Its portability is another main selling point.
Ventec was founded by CEO Doug DeVries, a ventilation technology expert who was inspired to create VOCSN after his father was diagnosed with ALS. With traditional technology, patients that need help breathing are permanently attached to a bulky device and need constant care, either in a hospital or from a caregiver at home.
DeVries designed VOCSN to be easier to use for both patients and caregivers and to give patients greater mobility despite their health, according to Ventec’s website.