Inspire Medical files for $75M IPO to step up sleep apnea device sales drive

Inspire Medical has filed to raise $75 million through a Nasdaq IPO. The sleep apnea specialist wants the cash to step up commercialization of its FDA-approved neurostimulation device.

Maple Grove, Minnesota-based Inspire won FDA approval for the device in 2014—three years after it came to market in Europe—and more than 2,800 patients have received the therapy. However, the device and Inspire are still finding their feet commercially. Inspire generated sales of $28.6 million last year, up 74% year on year, but that translated into a net loss of $17.5 million.

Inspire expects to continue running at a loss for the foreseeable future but is hoping investors will look beyond that and fund its plans to grow the business. If successful, the IPO will equip Inspire to spend $45 million on hiring sales and marketing staff and expanding promotional campaigns on both sides of the Atlantic.

The company’s marketing efforts to date have focused on persuading ENT and sleep physicians to consider the device as an option for patients with moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who have tried continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) without success.  

CPAP is a well established treatment for OSA but the need to wear a face or nasal mask deters some people from sticking with the therapy, leading to noncompliance and poor health outcomes. Inspire’s device consists of a neurostimulator and supporting technologies that monitor a patient’s breathing and deliver electrical stimulation to keep the airway open. 

The device reduced the number of complete and partial airway blockages in a clinical trial, suggesting it can help patients with OSA. But Inspire is yet to win over payers, most of which class the device as experimental or investigational. Inspire is trying to improve the situation by encouraging the creation of national coverage policies that support reimbursement of its device.