LifeSci Capita LLC, a research-driven investment bank with domain expertise in the life sciences sector, has initiated coverage of Inspire Medical Systems, a privately-held medical device company marketing a neurostimulation device for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The Inspire therapy is a fully implantable device capable of detecting breathing patterns and delivering mild neurostimulation to the hypoglossal nerve. Stimulation repositions the tongue and maintains an open airway during sleep. The Inspire device is intended to be used as a second-line therapy for patients who are not compliant with CPAP.

Inspire conducted the pivotal STAR trial to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of the neurostimulation device over 12 months in patients with moderate-to-severe OSA. The trial showed that the use of Inspire therapy led to clinically meaningful and durable reductions in apneic episodes. Inspire recently published three-year follow-up data from the STAR trial, demonstrating that long-term reductions in apneic episodes were maintained following device implantation.

Inspire had sales of $8 million in 2015, up from $3.8 million in 2014. Inspire therapy is covered by an existing Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) code, which is used for cranial nerve stimulation. To date, the company has received prior authorization approvals from 78 commercial and Medicare payers. Inspire hopes to grow the number of covered cases in order to trigger formal coverage reviews at the major US healthcare providers. Positive coverage decisions could substantially expand patient access and increase procedural adoption.

In a 23-page Initiation Report, LifeSci Capital explains the high rate of non-compliance to CPAP therapy among OSA patients, the strong efficacy data supporting the use of Inspire therapy as a second-line treatment, and the company’s commercial strategy for growing device sales. In addition to this Initiation Report, LifeSci Capital intends to provide ongoing coverage and event-based research updates on Inspire Medical as developments occur.

The LifeSci Capital research team is led by Jerry Isaacson, PhD, an industry veteran with broad experience in biotechnology, having worked in both public and private biotech companies in areas ranging from medicinal chemistry and analytical chemistry to patents and investor/public relations. Isaacson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry from Harvard University and received his PhD in organic chemistry from the University of California in San Diego.