Digital health and medical devices continue to dominate health care technology investments in Minnesota according to a report from the Medical Alley Association (Golden Valley, Minn.). The report shows that devices and digital health firms raised more than $368 million collectively in 2015. Diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, research tools and other health care company investments were tracked as well, bringing in a total of $434.9 million in investments to the North Star state.
"Since 2009 we've been tracking data and this is the best year, yet," Cheryl Matter, vice president of intelligence and research with the Medical Alley Association, told Medical Device Daily. "There has been about $434.9 million that came into health technologies companies in 2015. "4Q15 really brought it home, we saw the highest fourth quarter that we've ever seen at $189 million. This is about 35 percent more than the previous high that was set back in 2009."
Digital health continues to be a break out star in the report. Digital health firms raised about $67.1 million, up about 59 percent over 2014.
"Definitely the story continues with digital health," Matter said. "We've seen massive growth. What's really exciting about this space is that when we go back and look from 2012, we've seen anywhere between 46 percent to 97 percent growth year -over- year in terms of total dollars. For us the continued rise of digital health in terms of dollars and companies and investment size is a really exciting story. "
One of the real success stories coming out of Minnesota in the digital health space is Oneome (Minneapolis). The company, which was spun out from Ivenshure, a digital health incubator and the Mayo Clinic's Ventures and Center for Individualized Medicine (Rochester, Minn.), raised $3.3 million in funding to expand offerings to include comprehensive dynamic pharmacogenomics analysis and clinical decision support at the point of care.
The technology is already live at Mayo Clinic through the Center for Individualized Medicine. The company's current platform uses patient genetic profiles to determine the safety and metabolic uptake of the top 230 drugs, and by the end of 1Q16 the company said it anticipates being able to provide information on the top 350. The second component is dynamic integration of patient information including existing prescriptions, allergies, and drug to drug interactions to deliver timely evidence based decisions at the point of care.
"They're a very early stage company and their technology is already in use within Mayo Clinic," Matter said. "They are demonstrating value and investors are starting to see that."
Other notable fund raising in the digital health space included Novu LLC. (St. Louis Park, Minn.) ($20 million); Zipnosis (Minneapolis) ($17 million) and Gravie (Minneapolis) ($12.5 million).
The report showed that 46 med-tech companies collected about $302 million in funding in 2015.
"We're in our third year of seeing more than $300 million come in to medical device companies," she said. "Although there are some really exciting and emerging sectors, our core is still there in medical devices and it's still really strong. Medical devices here in Minnesota continue to outperform. It continues to do well and it continues to track investment."
Matter added there were a series of strong first round investments including Cardionomic Inc. (Minneapolis) which received $20 million in a series A round. Cardionomic's top tier backers include NEA, The Cleveland Clinic and Greatbatch Medical Inc. (Plymouth, Minn.). Cardionomic's neuromodulation technology targets improved cardiac output to treat acute decompensated heart failure.
"There's an opportunity for that technology to be successful and really leverage the expertise here in Minnesota to do it," she said.
Other notable financings in the med-tech market included; Nxthera Inc. (Maple Grove, Minn.) ($43 million); Enteromedics Inc. (St. Paul, Minn.) ($41 million); Conventus Orthopedics Inc. (Maple Grove, Minn.) ($23.4 million); Zyga Technology Inc. (Minneapolis) ($20 million); Skyline Medical Inc. (St. Paul, Minn.) ($13.5 million); Sunshine Heart Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.) ($10.3 million).
"This level of funding is a testament to Minnesota's position as a global leader," Matter said in a release. "These investments help ensure that companies across the state and region continue to innovate and set new standards in health technology."