Published in Health Care

Michigan ranks 3rd in Midwest for life science investments

BY Monday, September 11, 2017 05:55am

Michigan ranked third among 11 Midwest regions for the value of equity investments made in life sciences companies during the first half of 2017.

 A midyear report from Cleveland-based BioEnterprise counts 13 deals for $90.3 million statewide during the first six months of the year. The total includes four investments in companies based in the Grand Rapids area for $6.9 million, and two in the Kalamazoo area for $41.4 million.

In terms of investment value, Michigan ranked behind Ohio, with $293.7 million in 55 deals, and regional leader Minnesota, with $337 million in 59 investments.

Across the Midwest, investors put $967.3 million into 205 deals during first half of 2017. That compares with $1.04 billion and 218 deals in the same period of 2016, according to the BioEnterprise report, which shows strong growth since 2013 in the number of Midwest-based life sciences startups receiving funding.

“Midwest healthcare investment continues to perform at historic levels,” BioEnterprise President and CEO Aram Nerpouni said in a statement. “As would be expected with overall investment numbers climbing, the number of deals and number of companies funded has steadily increased. Although there was a slight decrease in the first half of 2017 from the first half of 2016, the upward trend remains clear.”

Data also indicate the software and services sectors are getting more attention from investors across the Midwest, a region dominated by deals in medical devices, Nerpouni said.

At $456 million, the software and services sector accounted for 47 percent of the amount invested in the Midwest in the first half of the year, more than double that of 2013. The number of deals in the sector totaled 72, or 31 percent of all deals, which compares to 27 in the first half of 2013, or 22 percent of deals.

West Michigan-based life sciences companies that received funding in the first half of 2017 were:

  • BKFW LLC in Grand Rapids, which closed in April on $2.1 million in angel funding for clinical trials for a new bariatric product that treats obesity
  • Innovative Cardiovascular Solutions LLC in Grand Rapids, which closed in April on $2.5 million in angel funding for a device used in transcatheter aortic valve replacement to collect debris in the blood during the procedure, preventing a potential stroke or neurocognitive damage
  • Holland-based Shoulder Innovations Inc., which closed in March on a $1.02 million angel investment that it planned to use to increase inventory in preparation for future growth and to conduct R&D on a new an implant used in shoulder replacement surgery
  • Kalamazoo-based Ablative Solutions Inc., the developer of a catheter system for what’s called renal denervation to treat uncontrollable hypertension, closed in March on $11.38 million in later-stage venture capital
  • Cirius Therapeutics Inc., which closed in mid-April on $30 million in later-stage venture capital.
    Formerly known as Octeta Therapeutics, Cirius was spun out last year from Kalamazoo-based Metabolic Solutions Development Co. and is developing a new treatment for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and liver fibrosis. After the investment closed, the company relocated its corporate headquarters to San Diego but maintained R&D in Kalamazoo.
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