About Us

At Nuvaira, our mission is to transform the standard of care and significantly improve patient outcomes for those living with obstructive lung diseases.

Company Overview

Innovation with Intent

Nuvaira, Inc. develops innovative and groundbreaking therapies that aim to improve the lives of the more than 65 million people around the world with obstructive lung disease. Founded in 2008, Nuvaira was established to address unmet clinical needs in the treatment of overactive airway nerves, a common disease feature of both COPD and asthma.

Nuvaira is a privately held medical device company, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota USA and has more than 70 patents issued and pending worldwide.

dNerva® Lung Denervation System

One outpatient procedure.
Lasting Lung Health.

The dNerva Lung Denervation System is a novel, catheter-based system used to treat overactive airway nerves in a procedure called Targeted Lung Denervation (TLD). This first-of-its kind technology addresses underlying COPD pathophysiology to help preserve lung health.

Nuvaira History


Significant Treatment Milestone

  • 500 active treatments reached with the dNerva TLD System.

Completion of the AIRFLOW-3 Pivotal Trial

2020 – 2021

Two-Year Study Results

  • AIRFLOW-2 study results published that show a lower risk of severe exacerbations in patients treated with dNerva Lung Denervation System.
  • dNerva Lung Denervation System becomes designated as a Breakthrough Device by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Pivotal Trial Begins

  • First patients treated as part of the AIRFLOW-3 Pivotal Trial.
  • The dNerva Lung Denervation System becomes the first pulmonary product to successfully apply to France’s National Authority for Health (HAS) Forfait Innovation program.
  • Nuvaira closes a $79 Million financing round to continue groundbreaking treatment of COPD.

Long-Term Safety of TLD Confirmed

  • Study results confirm that TLD is feasible and safe in patients with moderate-to-severe COPD through 3 years.
  • FDA approves AIRFLOW-3 Pivotal Trial.
2016 – 2017

AIRFLOW-2 Clinical Trial

  • AIRFLOW-2 safety and feasibility study is enrolled and completed.
2014 – 2015

AIRFLOW-1 Clinical Trial

  • AIRFLOW-1 safety and dose ranging study is enrolled and completed.
  • Nuvaira closes a $49 Million financing round to continue groundbreaking treatment of COPD.
2012 – 2013

First-in-Man Procedure

  • Nuvaira completed it’s First-in-Man procedure in January of 2012 that confirmed the feasibility and safety of single procedure treatment of both lungs.
  • Nuvaira develops its 2nd generation dNerva Catheter.
2010 – 2011

dNerva Catheter Created

  • Nuvaira develops its 1st generation dNerva Catheter with its ex-vivo program.
  • Nuvaira completes 10+ preclinical studies, 65+ animal studies and treats 130+ airways.

Company Founded

  • Nuvaria is founded by Dr. Martin Mayse and Steve Dimmer.
  • Intellectual property is filed in early 2008 and early animal work and development of the proof of concept begins.


Dennis Wahr, M.D.

President & CEO

Lisa Flaherty

Sr. Vice President, Global Market Development

Thomas E. Griffin

Chief Financial Officer

Philip Johnson, Ph.D.

Vice President, Science, Clinical and R&D

John Carline

Sr. Director, Regulatory & Quality

Dennis Wahr, M.D.

President & CEO

Dennis joined Nuvaira as the CEO in 2012 with a unique background in serial medical device development, clinical evaluation and commercialization experience.

Prior to joining Nuvaira, Dennis co-founded Lutonix in 2007 and served as its President and CEO until CR Bard acquired the company in December 2011. Prior to Lutonix, Dennis co-founded Velocimed in 2001, and served as its President and CEO until St. Jude Medical acquired the company in 2005.

Dennis has served on the board of directors of several medical device companies including Accumetrics, IDev, Velocimed, and Lutonix, and was the chairman of the board for Intact Vascular which was acquired by Philips in 2020.

Prior to his entrepreneurial career in medical devices, he was a board-certified interventional cardiologist and served as the Chief of Cardiology at the Michigan Heart and Vascular Institute in Ann Arbor, MI.

Lisa Flaherty

Sr. Vice President, Global Market Development

Lisa joined Nuvaira in 2018 bringing with her over 20 years of medical device industry expertise in commercializing diagnostic and therapeutic technologies in the fields of pulmonology, diabetes, ultrasound imaging and neonatal medicine. 

Before joining Nuvaira, Lisa was Sr. Vice President of Therapy Development Strategy at PneumRx, Inc., where she was responsible for driving the clinical program and developing market access strategies. Prior to this, she was Vice President of Marketing at Pulmonx, Inc., where she successfully re-introduced endobronchial valves for emphysema treatment to European markets. Lisa has also held management positions in operations, marketing and product development with Siemens Medical Solutions, Inc., and Natus Medical, Inc.

Lisa holds a B.A. in International Business from California State University, Fullerton, a Literary Studies degree from the University of Montpellier, France, and she has a M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

Thomas E. Griffin

Chief Financial Officer

Tom joined Nuvaira in 2020, bringing with him strong financial experience and background leading several medical device companies in venture financing and initial public offerings, including success in rapid commercialization and in mergers and acquisitions.

Prior to joining Nuvaira, Tom was CFO of Avedro, Inc., a leading hybrid ophthalmic pharmaceutical and medical technology company. Avedro completed its IPO in February 2019 and was acquired by Glaukos Corporation in November 2019. 

Prior to joining Avedro, Tom served as the CFO of Entellus Medical, Inc., a company focused on developing products designed for the minimally invasive treatment of chronic and recurrent sinusitis. Entellus completed its IPO in January 2015 and was acquired by Stryker Corporation in February 2018. 

Tom earned a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Minnesota, Duluth and an M.B.A. in Management from the University of St. Thomas. Tom is a CPA (inactive).

Philip Johnson, Ph.D.

Vice President, Science, Clinical and R&D

Philip joined Nuvaira in 2013 and has 15 years of biomedical research experience with expertise in peripheral nerve injury, autonomic innervation of the lung, and neuromodulation therapies.

Prior to joining Nuvaira, Philip was the Director of the Peripheral Nerve Research Laboratory and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Washington University School of medicine. In this role, Philip managed an NIH funded research laboratory focused on the basic science of peripheral nerve injury/regeneration and development of tissue engineering techniques to improve outcomes following traumatic nerve injury. Philip has published over 35 peer-reviewed manuscripts on the topics of peripheral nerve injury and tissue engineering.

Philip holds a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Saint Louis University. He also obtained a M.S. in Biomedical Engineering and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.

John Carline

Sr. Director, Regulatory & Quality

John joined Nuvaira in 2021 with extensive knowledge in the areas of regulatory and quality for both large-scale and start-up companies. John has over 20 years’ experience in the medical device industry and brings with him a successful track record in obtaining numerous FDA approvals for PMAs, IDEs, and 510(k)s, international regulatory approvals and successful QMS audits. 

Prior to joining Nuvaira, John served as Sr. Director of Regulatory at Lutonix/CR Bard/Becton Dickinson with increasing responsibility throughout his 12 years. Earlier in his career, John served in regulatory roles for St. Jude Medical, Velocimed, Cardiac Science, and SurVivaLink.

John holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and a M.B.A. from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Board of Directors

Jon Root

General Partner


Jacques Essinger

Operating Partner

Endeavour Vision

Mike Carusi

General Partner

Lightstone Ventures

Hank Plain


Morgenthaler Ventures

Tim Herbert

President & CEO

Inspire Medical Systems

Dave Van Meter

Venture Partner

Vertex Venture Management

Dennis Wahr, M.D.

President and CEO