Novalung GmbH receives EU grant for the development of a cell-coated artificial lung

Left to right: Josef Bogenschütz, Georg Matheis, Michael Georg Link, Thomas Villinger (Photo: Novalung GmbH) (PresseBox) ( Heilbronn, )
- The AmbuLung (Ambulatory Bioartificial Lung) project is a milestone in the history of artificial organs and is being subsidized by the EU with a total of 5.6 Million Euros
- 3 Million Euros will go to Novalung as the Coordinator of the European development consortium

Novalung's mission are innovative medical devices for lung failure in the form of artificial lungs. These artificial lungs breathe outside of the patient's body, often help to avoid harmful invasive mechanical ventilation and improve the quality of life.

Following the development of the world's only pumpless artificial lung (iLA® Membrane Ventilator) and the equally successful market introduction of a minimally invasive artificial lung (iLA activve®) the company now targets the development of a miniaturized, cell-coated artificial lung for long term use - the AmbuLung.

For this project the development consortium that is centred around Novalung has received a grant from the EU totalling 5.6 Million Euros.

The grant was issued to the consortium, which is made up of globally leading institutions, as part of the Seventh Framework Programme of the EU, which is dedicated to research and development and technology transfer in Europe.

Members of the AmbuLung consortium are:

- Novalung GmbH under the leadership of Dr Georg Matheis and Josef Bogenschütz
- The Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology of the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm under the leadership of Prof Paolo Macchiarini MD, PhD
- The Biological System Engineering Laboratory of the Imperial College London under the leadership of Prof Dame Julia Polak and Prof Athanasios Mantalaris, PhD
- The Università degli studi di Firenze under the leadership of Prof Massimo Pistolesi, MD

The joint developmental goal is the AmbuLung, which will allow patients to remain awake, mobile and active despite lung failure. The core innovation within the framework of the project is the coating of the artificial lung with human cells, in order to improve its biocompatibility and increase its durability.

COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) is the third most common chronic disease worldwide, and is on the rise. Compared to the artificial hearts which give patients with heart failure a greater quality of life, there is great room for improvement for lung failure. For years Novalung has specialized in lung support systems for patients with acute lung failure in the intensive care unit. AmbuLung represents a significant step towards mobilizing patients who can actively participate in their therapy. A significant reduction in the length of treatment, accompanied by a clear improvement in quality of life, is expected.

On 5 October 2012 at 11:00 AM, Novalung held a press conference at its headquarters in Heilbronn to present the EU project to the public. A prominent guest was Mr. Michael Georg Link, Minister of State in the Federal Foreign Office and member of the Bundestag.

After an introduction by Novalung Managing Director Josef Bogenschuetz, Dr Georg Matheis explained to an interested audience the content and medical importance of the pioneering AmbuLung project. In the ensuing, lively discussion Minister of State Michael Georg Link emphasized the efforts of the EU under the FP7 program to allow and support "[...] excellence-based lighthouse projects [...]". Novalung is once again a pioneer for Heilbronn as an attractive cluster of expertise in medical technology.

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