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(Sterifre Photo)

Sterifre Medical raised an $8 million round to fuel development of products that rapidly disinfect healthcare devices, bringing the startup’s total funding to $20 million to date.

The Kirkland, Wash.-based company aims to reduce the rate of infection in hospitals, which affects 3 percent of all patients, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 3-year-old company plans to use the funds to commercialize Aura, a system that replaces manual sterilization methods. Aside from making cleaning medical tools easier, the company says the system can also avoid premature breakage of devices that result from improper cleaning methods.

“Selecting the proper wipe-based chemical for a specific device in the fast-paced healthcare setting is challenging for any provider,” Sterifre CEO Richard Shea said in a statement. “Often the proper chemistry-based solution is not readily available at the point of use and a substitute is chosen strictly out of the need to complete the disinfection task.”

The cleansing agent used by Aura is simply hydrogen peroxide, which is applied in such a way that damage to the device is avoided.

Prior to joining Sterifre, Shea was CEO of Olympus Respiratory America, which makes treatments for people with severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD. He was also a founding executive of Stericycle, which makes products for infection control.

The new cash follows a $12 million round 2017 and brings total financing to $20 million to date. The company has seven employees and plans to hire 15-to-20 people over the next eight months. It declined to reveal its investors participating in the new round.

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