Minnesota-based Inspire Medical raised $40 million in a Series E financing round that the company timed to coincide the launch of its sleep apnea implant.
Inspire won FDA approval earlier this month for its flagship device, a pacemaker-like system that stimulates nerves to keep airways open during sleep. The technology represents a significant leap over the respiratory masks that comprise the standard of care for patients with sleep apnea.
The new funding round was led by OrbiMed, which added private equity partner Chau Khuong to Inspire’s board of directors. Other new investors included Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation and Aperture Venture Partner and existing investors participating in the funding round included Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, US Venture Partners, Synergy Life Science Partners, Medtronic, GDN Holdings and TGap Ventures.
Inspire Medical spun out of Medtronic in 2007, taking with it therapy concepts stemming from trials begun in 1998. Medtronic still holds a minority stake in the company and manufactures the OSA implants.
Inspire’s technology represents a significant leap from the continuous positive airway pressure masks that represent the standard of care for patients with obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA.
Patients OSA suffer from poor sleep because their airways involuntarily constrict and block breathing. The condition comes with an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, heart failure and hypertension, and can also disrupt day-to-day activities. Studies have shown that patients with OSA are more likely to fall asleep while driving.
Inspire’s device combines an implanted pulse generator and a pair of leads to sense breathing patterns and deliver mild electrical shocks to keep airways open. The only external component is a hand-held remote used to activates the device before bed and deactivate after waking.