Investments in Minnesota life science companies take big Q2 jump

Investments in Minnesota-based life science companies saw a whopping 65% increase in Q2 2014 compared with the same period a year ago according to a report by LifeScience Alley, the state's trade association for the medical technology and life science business. 

In its report, the agency said companies in the life science sector snapped up $110.5 million in the second quarter versus $75 million last quarter. The increase was led by Holaira, which closed on a $42 million venture financing round in April, and Inspire Medical, which brought in $40 million in Series E money in May. Holaira is developing a catheter-based system for treating chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and Inspire is working on a small, implantable system that treats sleep apnea. 

In addition to life sciences, health information technology companies in Minnesota also recorded good investment numbers with RedBrick Health raising $7.5 million in the second quarter.

"We're really happy with these numbers," Cheryl Matter, director of research and intelligence for LifeScience Alley, told MedCity News. "It reflects the resilience and quality of our community, and hopefully it's an indicator of positive momentum, especially within the medical device area."

She added that if the trend continues, 2014 investments in the state's life sciences companies will easily outpace 2013.

The good news in Minnesota was a reflection of what was happening in the second quarter between venture capitalists and the med tech sector around the country. According to the National Venture Capital Association, device and diagnostics deal value increased 8% to $649 million in Q2 2014 compared to a year ago, and deal volume gained 7% with 73 transactions recorded.

It's been the biggest quarter of investment activity since the early 2000s despite a rough Q1 2014 that saw deal volume slip to a 10-year low.

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