Zoll drives sleep apnea firm Respicardia to $59M round

Respicardia has rounded up $58.5 million to commercialize its sleep apnea device in the U.S. The Zoll Medical-led round comes two months after Respicardia secured FDA clearance to market its implantable neurostimulation system.

Minn.-based Respicardia picked up the FDA nod for its remedē System in October on the strength of data linking the device to a 50% or more improvement on a sleep apnea scale in half of patients who received it in a clinical trial. About 10% of patients in the control arm achieved such improvements.

Leaders at Zoll are convinced of the product’s potential, prompting the resuscitation and acute critical care device player to come on board as lead investor in the latest financing round.

“The remedē System is a breakthrough technology that uniquely treats the devastating effects CSA has on a person's quality of life and cardiovascular health,” Zoll CEO Jonathan Rennert said in a statement. “This investment in Respicardia exemplifies Zoll’s commitment to advance novel therapies, especially those that address heart failure or one of its many comorbidities such as central sleep apnea.”

RELATED: Respicardia bags FDA nod for sleep apnea implant

In the past, such investments have led to takeovers, eventually. Zoll bought a stake in Advanced Circulatory Systems in 2003. More than a decade later, Zoll bought the rest of the company and its noninvasive circulation enhancement products.  

Remedē System consists of a neurostimulation implant, leads that deliver the stimulation and a portable tablet for programming the treatment settings. The system keeps tabs on the patient’s breathing while they sleep and stimulates a nerve as needed to prevent the pauses in breathing that characterize sleep apnea.