Lungpacer Medical, a clinical stage medical device company pioneering a diaphragm pacing therapy system for critically ill patients who require mechanical ventilation, has won the TCT 2021 Shark Tank Innovation Competition.

The competition took place during Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT), an educational meeting specializing in interventional cardiovascular medicine. The winner was announced by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF), and was also presented with the Jon DeHaan Foundation Award for Interventional Innovation.

“We are excited to name Lungpacer as this year’s TCT Shark Tank Innovation Competition winner,” says Juan F. Granada, MD, president and chief executive officer of CRF, the sponsor of TCT. “Lungpacer has great potential to not only save the lives of countless critically sick patients but also completely change the treatment paradigm for those needing mechanical ventilation especially in the COVID-19 era.”

Prolonged ventilator dependence can weaken the diaphragm muscle up to 50% in less than one day making it extremely difficult for patients to wean off ventilators. Lungpacer has developed a novel therapeutic solution, AeroPace, designed to activate and exercise the diaphragm. The AeroPace system uses a temporary, minimally invasive, transvascular nerve stimulation catheter that also functions as a traditional central venous catheter.

It is designed to build diaphragm strength and empower natural, independent breathing. The device is recognized as an FDA Breakthrough Technology and is approved under Emergency Use Authorization for use to support mechanically ventilated COVID-19 patients.

“We are very grateful to be honored by CRF and the Jon DeHaan Foundation,” says Doug Evans, president and CEO of Lungpacer Medical. “Being recognized among the six innovative companies chosen to compete at this year’s TCT Shark Tank Innovation Competition is an incredible honor. We are optimistic about the potential for AeroPace to help mechanically ventilated patients return to natural breathing more quickly by improving diaphragm strength and lung function.”