The Netherlands
Devices for treatment


COPD is a progressive and irreversible lung disease, afflicting approximately 384 million individuals worldwide (~5% of the population). The most debilitating symptom of COPD is breathlessness, which impairs the patient’s ability to perform daily activities and partake in social life.  

Breathlessness, also called dyspnea or shortness of breath is the reality of more than 80% of the patients, occurring up to dozens of times per day and often upon exertions as basic as taking a shower.

The disease is relatively poorly understood and treatment protocols are mostly aimed at long-term management of the disease, leaving many COPD-patients struggling with the here and now.


COPD-patients’ most voiced unmet need is the ability to keep doing the things they love to do: walking the dog, enjoying (family) dinners, going out with (grand)children, living independently and being in their own home. The foremost detriment to these activities is breathlessness. 

The vast number of COPD patients and their annual medical needs impose an incredible burden on society and health care systems. A tool which provides instant relief of breathlessness anywhere a COPD patient is and without restriction would alleviate the burden of COPD to patients and enable them to (re)assume an  active lifestyle which positively affects COPD management in the long run, and decrease the burden of COPD to, friends and family, hospitals and insurance companies, employers and society.



Taking breathlessness out of the equation results in an instant improvement on quality of life, with health benefits. Aetherus’ portable, non-invasive (pNIV) device for COPD is clinically proven to reduce recovery time of breathlessness, reduce fear of becoming breathless, increase exercise tolerance and increase activity levels. pNIV is not adding another treatment regime, nor does it intend to replace any of the current standards of care. It is an adjunct self-management therapy, to be used by the patient at will: it’s efficacy is not dependent on therapy loyalty and its use has no side effects as pharmaceuticals.

pNIV improves the quality of life of COPD patients instantly, and indirectly improves the  efficacy of the patient’s treatment regime.


The patented pNIV solution has been subjected to 5 clinical trials (more than 100 participants) and has proven the efficacy of the device in terms of reduced recovery time from breathlessness, reduced anxiety, reduced dynamic hyperinflation, and increased exercise tolerance. As with most treatments, not every patient responds similarly to the device. 


The technology is currently being further optimised, and a launch is expected in 2024.

Meet the team


Ton Tijn Hulleman


Pieter Wijffels (1)

Pieter Wijffels

Venture Partner

Pieter joined NLC in April 2020 as a Venture Partner. Before joining NLC, he spent 15 years at Philips, bringing innovation to life across the globe. He enjoys working in fast-paced environments and supporting initiatives that truly improve people’s lives.