Liberate Medical Awarded Additional $500,000 by the National Science Foundation

Crestwood, Kentucky, 18 September 2018: The National Science Foundation awarded Liberate Medical a $498,366 Phase IIB Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant to support the commercialization of company’s VentFree™ muscle stimulation technology.

Invasive mechanical ventilation commonly results in respiratory muscle dysfunction, which is a major underlying factor for patients requiring prolonged periods of ventilator support. These patients suffer from a wide range of clinical complications and represent a large cost to the health care system. The VentFree muscle stimulator is designed to prevent or reverse respiratory muscle weakness and, in turn, reduce mechanical ventilation days and hospital length of stay.

This funding is additional to the $749,408 Liberate Medical has already received and is intended to further the commercialization of the technology.

Liberate Medical’s CEO, Dr. Angus McLachlan, said, “Liberate Medical is delighted to have received this additional support from the National Science Foundation. The VentFree muscle stimulator is an exciting new treatment modality that could considerably improve patient outcomes and reduce provider cost. The development work we have completed to date has demonstrated the potential of this technology and this additional support will allow us to move the device closer to market.”

Small businesses can receive up to $1.5 million in funding from NSF. Companies must first have received a Phase I award (up to $225,000) to become eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $750,000) to further develop and commercialize the technology. Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to apply for the Phase IIB matching grant (up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales). All proposals submitted to the NSF SBIR/STTR program undergo a rigorous merit-based review process. 

About Liberate Medical

Liberate Medical is a clinical-stage medical device company that develops neuromuscular electrical stimulation devices to improve the quality and reduce the cost of care for patients with pulmonary disorders. Its proprietary technology uses electrical muscle stimulation to activate the expiratory muscles in synchrony with exhalation and is being developed to accelerate the process of weaning patients from mechanical ventilation (VentFree muscle stimulator), and to reduce shortness of breathing in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorders (SecondBreath™ muscle stimulator). The VentFree muscle stimulator and the SecondBreath muscle stimulator are at this time investigational devices only and are not for sale in any country.

About the NSF’s Small Business Programs

America’s Seed Fund powered by NSF awards $200 million annually to startups and small businesses, transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial and societal impact. Startups working across almost all areas of science and technology can receive up to $1.5 million in non-dilutive funds to support research and development (R&D), helping de-risk technology for commercial success. America’s Seed Fund is congressionally mandated through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The NSF is an independent federal agency with a budget of about $7.8 billion that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. For more information, visit