Today, Madison, Wisconsin-based digital respiratory health company Propeller Health announced a $20 million funding round led by a $10 million investment from Aptar Pharma. Existing investors Safeguard Scientifics, Social Capital, Hikma Ventures, 3M Ventures, and SR One comprised the other half of the round.
According to a release, the new funding will be invested into the company’s digital therapeutic and connected device pipeline for chronic respiratory diseases and other new conditions. In addition, the strategic investment from Aptar heralds a collaboration on the launch of a comprehensive digital medicine platform.
“This is a big day for Propeller. With the backing of our investors and our partnership with Aptar Pharma, we can now bring the benefits of digital medicine to new drug delivery devices in respiratory, and ultimately, to other diseases,” David Van Sickle, cofounder and CEO of Propeller, told MobiHealthNews in an email. “Initially, we plan to focus on injectables for severe asthma, and then explore therapeutic areas such as immunology, diabetes, migraine, and other diseases with high unmet medical need.”
Although known primarily for its connected inhaler, Propeller’s wider digital platform aims to help medical tech and pharmaceutical companies build, commercialize, and distribute digital therapeutics. With eight FDA 510(k) clearances and CE marking, Propeller’s activities have spread into 16 different countries, according to the company.
Propeller also has an eye for public health-focused initiatives. The company released an asthma forecasting API for open use last fall, and was a key player in a cross-sector respiratory health collaboration that included city leaders from Louisville, Kentucky and a local non-profits.
With Aptar’s strategic investment, the two companies — which initially partnered on a connected metered dose inhaler in 2016 — will jointly work to launch a digital medicine platform that spans inhaled, injectable, nasal, and dermal medicine delivery forms, according to another release. This platform will pair these delivery devices with software to improve patients’ outcomes and lower healthcare costs.
“Aptar Pharma has been providing innovative drug delivery systems for nearly 50 years, helping billions of patients around the world,” Salim Haffar, president of Aptar Pharma, said in a statement. “Today, we are excited to broaden our offerings as we continue this journey towards improved patient care and clinical outcomes by growing our partnership with Propeller Health, the leader in their field of digital therapeutics.”
The new platform will be co-marketed by the two companies, with Propeller managing the digital side and Aptar heading device development, manufacturing, and supply.