Two Big Deals Help MN Medical Investments Climb 68%

Investments in Holaira and Inspire Medical helped drive the strong quarter.

Investment in Minnesota-based medical startups is continuing to grow, according to newly released second-quarter statistics from the St. Louis Park-based LifeScience Alley.

The industry association tallied $110.5 million in investments for the second quarter of 2014, a strong 68 percent uptick compared to the second quarter of 2013.

But two large deals alone accounted for nearly three-fourths of the total: Plymouth-based Holaira Inc. raised $42 million and Maple Grove-based Inspire Medical Systems Inc. raised $40 million. Holaira is developing a lung therapy for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; Inspire Medical makes an implantable device to treat sleep apnea.

In another deal of note, Minneapolis-based RedBrick Health Corporation, a health technology company, raised $7.5 million in its latest round of financing.

The overall numbers, however, are in line with recent trends. LifeScience Alley previously reported that Minnesota medical and life sciences startups raised $341 million in 2013, which marked a strong 81 percent increase compared to 2012 and was the best showing since the group began tallying the numbers in 2009.

According to LifeScience Alley, 24 of the 33 deals in the second quarter were under $1 million. The median investment size was $389,000.

Previously, LifeScience Alley reported $60 million in fundraising during this year's first quarter. That tally has since been revised upwards to more than $75 million. All told, LifeScience Alley now counts $185.9 million raised during the first two quarters of this year, which marks a 67 percent increase compared to 2013.