Inspire Medical Systems raised $40M to bring FDA-approved sleep apnea implant to market

Just a couple of weeks after securing U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for its implant to treat obstructive sleep apnea, Inspire Medical Systems added three new investors in a Series E round raising $40 million. OrbiMed led the financing round and its private equity partner, Chau Q. Khuong, will sit on the board. Johnson […]

Just a couple of weeks after securing U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for its implant to treat obstructive sleep apnea, Inspire Medical Systems added three new investors in a Series E round raising $40 million.

OrbiMed led the financing round and its private equity partner, Chau Q. Khuong, will sit on the board. Johnson & Johnson Development Corp. and Aperture Venture Partners were two more new investors. Returning investors included Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, US Venture Partners, Synergy Life Science Partners, Medtronic, GDN Holdings and TGap Ventures.

The treatment has been approved for obstructive sleep apnea patients who can’t use continuous positive airway pressure devices — the go-to therapy for the condition — or won’t use them. The downside of the breathing masks is they have an average adherence rate of 50 percent. The device is expected to hit the U.S. market in the second half of the year, four years after the Medtronic spinout company got the greenlight to sell the implant in Europe.

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Inspire Medical also added a CFO, Richard Buchholz. He previously served as CFO for minimally invasive pulmonology device company, superDimension, until it was acquired by Covidien in 2012.

The Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation device uses a pulse generator, a sensing lead and a stimulation lead. Patients use a small handheld remote to activate the therapy right before they go to bed and turn it off when they wake up. The implant detects breathing patterns and sends a mild stimulation to airway muscles to keep airways open during sleep.

People with obstructive sleep apnea are at increased risk for heart attack, stroke, weight gain, high blood pressure, heart failure and falling asleep while driving, all of which boost healthcare costs. Earlier this year the Centers for Disease Control declared that insufficient sleep was a public health epidemic.