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BlueTree Venture Fund, a Pittsburgh-based venture capital firm, recently invested in Alung, a developer of advanced medical devices for treating respiratory failure. Based in Pittsburgh, many of ALung’s products, including the Hemolung Respiratory Assist System (RAS), were originally developed out of the University of Pittsburgh.

ALung is an investor and innovator of new respiratory technologies. Founded in 1997 by William Federspiel, PhD and the late Brack Hattler, MD, ALung committed itself to enhancing the quality of life, improving the health, and reducing the cost of care for respiratory failure patients by developing revolutionary respiratory assistance products and services. Their aim is to create value for both their customers and their shareholders.

One of the most successful developments is the Hemolung RAS. It is the first fully integrated respiratory dialysis system. The Hemolung works to remove carbon dioxide and deliver oxygen directly into the blood of a patient, allowing their lungs to rest and heal without being intubated. The Hemolung RAS comes with easy to use features, making the machine patient friendly.

ALung has a strong partnership with the University of Pittsburgh and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine (MIRM). Dr. Federspiel continues to create new technologies to better treat respiratory failure and advance their already abundant knowledge. ALung has revolutionized its medical field and hopes to continue to do so with the help of the BlueTree Venture Fund.

To learn more about ALung, visit their website.

BlueTree Venture Fund, a Pittsburgh-based venture capital firm recently invested in Gemmus Pharma, a San Francisco-based company focused on the innovative development of pharmaceuticals for influenza and other viral infectious diseases.

Founded in 2007, Gemmus is a privately held biotechnology company that uses a host-directed approach and is committed to developing “best in class” products to meet major medical needs. They target the underlying causes of debilitating symptoms associated with influenza and similar illnesses by regulated the body’s natural response to the disease.

Gemmus is a member of the QB3 network (California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences), a Biotech incubator firm. They have also applied and received a SBIR(NIH) and a QTDP competitive grant. Most recently, Gemmus made plans to file an investigational new drug application targeting influenza symptoms with the FDA.

Gemmus’ lead candidate is GP1681. It plays a role in the anti-inflammatory response and has been shown to reduce the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines from activated white blood cells. Studies for GP1681 have been conducted at Utah State University as a part of their National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease program. They have used both H5N1 and H1N1 strains to study the effects of the medicine.

To learn more about Gemmus Pharma, visit their website.

BlueTree Venture Fund Raises $10 Million for Pittsburgh Technology Companies: New Venture Fund to Provide Area Companies with Series B Investments

Pittsburgh, PA – May 8, 2014 – BlueTree Venture Fund (BTVF) closed on $10 million of fresh capital for Pittsburgh area technology companies and the broader entrepreneurial market on April 28, 2014. The Fund is the first woman-founded venture capital fund in the region, founded by local venture capitalist and angel investor Catherine Mott. BTVF is targeting Series B investments in IT and Life Science companies with compelling technologies, strong management teams and efficient capital models to provide robust returns for the Fund’s investors.

BTVF is the culmination of Mott’s 10 years of immersion in both the Pittsburgh and national angel and venture capital community. According to Mott, running a successful venture fund is more than finding a great portfolio of promising companies. She explains, “The bottom line for a successful venture fund is the ability to deliver returns well into the double-digits. This requires using the Fund Partners’ knowledge and networks to develop solid, high quality deal flow, a rigorous vetting process, and a commitment to be integrally involved with the strategic decision-making of portfolio companies.” She explains that achieving this goal will allow BTVF to support companies providing innovative technologies that improve peoples’ lives.

Currently, Pittsburgh’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is nearing a tipping point. The area’s technology companies brought in an estimated $338 million in 148 separate deals in 2013, according to the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association. Of 125 venture capital firms that participated in these deals, only 22 were from the Southwestern Pennsylvania region. BTVF is another asset that enables the region to unlock its vast potential for innovation and commercialization. Prior to its final close in Q1 2015, BTVF will seek to raise another $20 million to achieve $30 million total capital.

Over the last 10 years, Mott assembled the best practices and operating model that made her first local angel organization, the BlueTree Allied Angels, stand as one of the most highly-regarded angel investment groups in the country. Mott and her three partners in BTVF, Roger Byford, David Motley and Jon Pastor, have more than 70 years of combined experience in IT Hardware, IT Software and Life Sciences. The Partners have held executive level positions in perennially successful companies, including Microsoft, Google, Respironics and McKinsey. Their entrepreneurial experience comprises successful venture and angel-backed companies like Vocollect and Rent Jungle.

To learn more about the BlueTree Venture Fund, visit www.bluetreeventurefund.com. To schedule an interview, contact Catherine Mott at 724-475-4538 or cvmott@bluetreecapital.com.


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P.O. Box 1323
Wexford, PA 15090