After an off-the-charts year in investment for 2014, the Minnesota bioscience industry has seen a more typical 1st quarter, according to a report from medtech lobby LifeScience Alley.
Officials with the Minneapolis-based trade association said yesterday that the 1st quarter of 2015 saw $41 million in total investments in the North Star state. Most of that investment went to the medical device field, always a strong industry in the state. In Q1, 57% of the companies raising money were from the medical device field, and 87% of the total funding came in that area.
The numbers were down more than 45% from Q1 2014, which saw $75 million in investment, according to the report. But according to Cheryl Matter, PhD, director of research and intelligence at LifeScience Alley, the numbers are similar or better than Q1s from other recent years.
"2014 was an exceptional year. Almost every quarter was above we’ve seen for the last 6 years. It was the all-time high. So this is more in line with what we’ve seen [recently]," Matter said
Medtech is "probably our strongest sector here," she added.
"It’s always a pretty large chunk of the investment," Matter said. "Part of that success is because of the talent here, and the workforce. The industry here is strong and we’ve been able to weather a lot of the industry ups and downs."
The 2 largest 1st-quarter investment deals noted by the report were the $10 million raised by Sunshine Heart of Eden Prairie, which is developing a therapy for heart failure patients, and an $11 million round for Osprey Medical (ASX:OSP), a Minnetonka-based firm that’s developed technology designed to protect kidney function in patients being treated for heart problems.
A total of 23 companies reported investment deals in the 1st quarter, down from 44 a year ago. Thirteen of the companies were medical device firms, 5 were health information technology firms; diagnostics, pharmaceutical and research firms made up the remaining deals.
Overall, Matter said, the Minnesota industry was off to a good start for 2015.
"We had a really great 2014, it was a peak year," Matter said. "This Q1 is solid, it’s line with what we’ve seen in previous years, and it’s something we can build on."