ImThera Medical Inc, a privately owned company focused on neurostimulation for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), has been purchased by medical technology company LivaNova PLC as part of a transaction valued at approximately $225 million.

Spencer Trask & Co co-founded ImThera with Marcello Lima in keeping with Spencer Trask & Co’s tradition of helping develop innovative healthcare solutions that treat important medical conditions.

ImThera designed and developed a nondrug therapy for OSA that cyclically and continuously stimulates six muscles of the tongue via an implantable device. This therapy received its European CE mark in March 2012 and is currently being tested as part of a 141 patient Phase III clinical trial in the United States. Led by Alan R. Schwartz, MD, at Johns Hopkins University, the clinical trial is expected to be completed by March 2018.

“This transaction with LivaNova accelerates the ImThera mission of providing its life-changing therapy to the millions of Americans who are living with obstructive sleep apnea,” says Spencer Trask & Co. chairman Kevin Kimberlin in a release.

ImThera developed a programmable chip which stimulates the hypoglossal nerve that supplies the muscles of the tongue with signals from the brain. By so doing, the ImThera implant keeps the air passageway open throughout the night.