Respirics, a developer of technology for delivery of drugs through a dry-powder inhaler, has closed on $2.5 million in venture financing.

“It was a large group of investors,” a company spokesperson said.
In addition to several angel investors, Research Triangle Ventures and Catalysta Partners also invested.

Both Triangle-based RTV and Durham-based Catalysta, which recently was renamed as part of Hatteras Venture Partners, have been invested in Respirics for several years. And Respirics’ continued development of its Acu-Breathe device for drug delivery has both firms excited about the company’s future.

“Thos is a whole new platform for the delivery of dry-power drugs,” said Clay Thorpe of Hatteras. “We like the management team, and we really are excited about the product strategy now.”

Bud Whitmeyer, who is chief executive officer of NuTech Solutions in Charlotte but still oversees some investments made by RTV, endorsed Respirics’ decision to focus on Acu-Breathe.

“They are making some pretty good progress,” Whitmeyer said. “Acu-Breathe just has a lot more upside.”

The investment comes just a week after Respirics disclosed plans to sell off the one product in has that received Food and Drug Administration approval – the MD Turbo. It was approved by the FDA in 2005 and went on sale last year. The device is designed to help patients make better use of pressurized metered dose inhalers.

Respirics management decided to focus resources on its Acu-Breathe dry power inhaler.

The device needs FDA approval since it is designed to deliver drugs.

“We expect our first program to enter the clinic this year,” said William Nadel, the firm’s director of business development. “We don’t have any partners to announce at this time.”

The company sees a “much greater potential” for Acu-Breathe, Nadal added. “We have been evaluating drug substances for some time now for potential partners.”

Respirics has eight employees.