Med-Device Startup Moves to MN, Closes on $10M

The company, which recently changed its name to Holaira, employs about 20, roughly half of whom have joined since its move to Plymouth.

A medical-device startup announced Monday that it changed its name, moved to Plymouth, and closed on $10 million in private equity financing.
Holaira, Inc., which used to be called Innovative Pulmonary Solutions, Inc., recently relocated to the Twin Cities metro area from Bellevue, Washington.
“Minnesota is a great environment for a medical device company,” spokeswoman Lorraine Marshall Wright told Twin Cities Business, adding that the area has a strong talent pool.
Wright said that Holaira currently employs about 20, roughly 10 of whom have joined since its move to Minnesota.
The company is developing minimally invasive products to make breathing easier for patients suffering from obstructive lung diseases.
Currently, it’s working on a novel, catheter-based system for a procedure called Targeted Lung Denervation, which it said has the potential to make breathing easier for patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The disease, which affects more than 64 million people worldwide and in excess of 13 million in the United States, is characterized by a persistent limitation in airflow.
Holaira said that proceeds from the $10 million round of financing that it just completed will support the continued development of its products. The company said that its previous investors—Advanced Technology Ventures, Morgenthaler Ventures, Eden Prairie-based Split Rock Partners, and Versant Ventures, which recently opened a Twin Cities office—participated in the latest round.
“The relocation of the company, along with our new corporate identity, sets the stage for the next level of product development and our future clinical trials,” Holaira President and CEO Dennis Wahr said in a statement.
Although Holaira is new to Minnesota, Wahr is no stranger to the area.
He previously served as CEO of local med-tech startup Lutonix, Inc., which a New Jersey company acquired for $225 million in 2011. Lutonix developed a drug-coated balloon to treat diseased arteries.
Wahr also cofounded local cardiology device company Velocimed, which Little Canada-based St. Jude Medical purchased for $82.5 million in 2005.