Sharp Intakes: RIS Unites Innovators and Investors

The second annual Respiratory Innovation Summit welcomed nearly 70 speakers and more than two dozen startup companies who previewed dozens of new therapies, drugs, devices, and diagnostics designed to treat respiratory disease.

Each of these innovators, investors, and clinicians is leading the fight to create powerful treatments for deadly and crippling diseases of the lungs and airways, and this event provides an opportunity to connect them during single-hour “spotlight” presentations.

Two dozen startups were given the opportunity to present to an audience that included entrepreneurs, investment banks, venture firms, large medical technology companies, and more—an intentional choice made with the hope of driving awareness and, ultimately, funding.

Product Presenters

This year’s startup companies that presented at the Research Innovation Summit:

  • 4Dx Limited
  • Altavant
  • Amiko
  • ArtiQ
  • Bellerophon Therapeutics
  • Body Vision Medical
  • Cohero Health, Inc.
  • Eldec Pharmaceuticals
  • Gala Therapeutics
  • HCmed Innovations
  • Indalo Therapeutics
  • Inscope Medical Solutions
  • Lungpacer Medical, Inc.
  • Nuvaira
  • Optellum
  • Pharmosa Biopharm Inc.
  • Pliant Therapeutics
  • Pulmocide
  • Savara Inc.
  • Sommetrics, Inc.
  • Spire Health
  • VIDA

As she did last year, RIS Co-Chair Cecilia Gonzalo, partner at Oberland Capital, led off RIS with a call out to investors to commit more capital to this underfunded space. “We hope that this year’s Respiratory Innovation Summit accomplished its mission of bringing together multiple stakeholders to advance innovation in the respiratory space to serve patients in need of new therapies,” Ms. Gonzalo said.

This year’s spotlights focused heavily on four main areas: airway disease, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and interstitial lung disease, interventional pulmonology, and artificial intelligence. Within each spotlight, clinicians gave a short overview of those areas and participated in panel discussions with start-up and industry executives.

Other discussions held during the day included:

  • How Innovation Impacts Patient Perspectives
  • How to Find—and Fund—Innovative Respiratory Ideas
  • Emerging Medtech M&A and Fundraising Trends
  • The Future of Financing Respiratory Start-Ups

The program has strong support from ATS leadership including its Drug, Device, Discovery, and Development (Quad D) Committee. Tim Watkins, who is chair of the DDDD committee and co-chair of RIS, said the program brought necessary attention to respiratory innovation.

“The strong showing at this year’s RIS reflects the rising interest in new respiratory therapies,” said Watkins, who also is director of clinical research in respiratory/inflammation therapeutics at Gilead Sciences. “We look forward to building on the momentum this year and increasing the size of the RIS community in 2020.”