HBOX Therapies Raises $2.4 million Seed Funding to Develop Treatment for Lung Failure

By Greg Grzesiak Greg Grzesiak has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on February 22, 2023

Aachen, Germany – HBOX Therapies GmbH received a seed investment of € 2.3 million ($2.44) led by TechVision Fund (TVF) to further develop a technology that facilitates lung-protective treatment of respiratory patients.

“Prospectively, this technology not only protects patients from the many secondary damages of invasive ventilation, it can also relieve the healthcare system by reducing prolonged periods of disease and even deaths,” said Bernhard Kugel, MD of TVF Management.

Co-investors in the seed round are High-Tech Gruenderfonds and business angel Prof. Dr. Peter Borges.

HBOX is the spin-off from RWTH Aachen University. It was founded in 2021 and is backed by an experienced management team that has been working together since 2013. The winners of the “StageTwo Deep Tech Award 2022” want to use the fresh capital to develop a prototype and thus take a big step towards clinical testing. This is a prerequisite for CE certification in order to make the technology available to patients with lung failure as quickly as possible.

Stage Two is the largest university-based startup competition in Europe helping students and researchers turn their ideas into business models. The network connects investors across national borders to give them access to the international market.

First alternative to invasive ventilation

The established treatment method for lung failure is invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV). It often leads to additional lung damage, pneumonia or diaphragmatic dysfunction in lung failure patients. In addition, patients often have to be weaned off IMV again over a period of weeks.

Until now, the last treatment option has been ECMO, or Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a medical procedure in which a machine temporarily takes over the function of the lungs to supply the body with oxygen. The artificial lung used requires large cannulas and high blood flow rates, which is very burdensome for patients. The Aachen researchers developed the patented platform technology HBOX (Hyperbaric Blood Oxygenation), as a less invasive treatment option.

As in conventional ECMO therapies, oxygen is administered directly into the blood, thereby relieving the lungs. What makes HBOX unique is that the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen requires much smaller volumes of blood due to the increased pressure level. This makes the treatment less invasive and allows patients to be awake and breathing spontaneously during treatment. Additionally, the HBOX technology can be combined with established non-invasive or invasive mechanical ventilation (NIV or IMV) and used earlier than current ECMO procedures.

“Our process offers many advantages over existing methods,” says Dr. Peter Schlanstein, co-founder of HBOX Therapies. “It ensures that physicians do not have to switch to invasive ventilation at all, or at a later time. This potentially reduces the patient’s length of stay, weaning time and risk of death.”

Increasing number of lung diseases in an aging society

“Demographic changes, an increase in respiratory pathogens and higher levels of air pollution will lead to more and more people struggling with lung diseases,” says Kugel. “We have been following the development of HBOX Therapies for several years and see tremendous potential for a ‘break-through technology’ that will be applicable to other areas of use.”

The management team of HBOX Therapies consists of the founders and shareholders Dr. Peter Schlanstein, Dr. Matthias Menne and Niklas Steuer. Before founding the company, they worked together for many years at the Institute for Applied Medical Technology (AME) at RWTH Aachen University and are highly specialized in their fields.

By Greg Grzesiak Greg Grzesiak has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Greg Grzesiak is an Entrepreneur-In-Residence and Columnist at Grit Daily. As CEO of Grzesiak Growth LLC, Greg dedicates his time to helping CEOs influencers and entrepreneurs make the appearances that will grow their following in their reach globally. Over the years he has built strong partnerships with high profile educators and influencers in Youtube and traditional finance space. Greg is a University of Florida graduate with years of experience in marketing and journalism.

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