Early-stage health care companies in Minnesota raised more than $1 billion in private funding last year, a record driven by digital-health companies like Minneapolis insurer Bright Health, according to figures compiled by the Medical Alley Association.
The Golden Valley-based trade group calculated that nearly 100 early-stage Minnesota health care companies in insurance, med-tech, health data and biotech raised at least $1.12 billion in 2019, representing an increase of more than 60% over 2018's total.
The 2019 tally included $635 million in private funding announced in December by Bright Health, a Minneapolis-based provider of insurance plans for seniors in Medicare Advantage program and individuals buying coverage through public insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Bright Health, which had at least three prior fundraising rounds dating to 2016, has raised more than $1 billion since its founding in 2015.
Traditional medical-technology companies in Minnesota raised at least $356 million in private funding in 2019, led by Nuvaira. The Plymouth-based med-tech company, which announced a $79 million equity financing round in February, is running a pivotal trial of its novel lung denervation therapy for COPD and asthma, following positive results from its Phase 2b clinical trial.
Other med-tech companies with notable raises in 2019 included $75 million for spinal-cord stimulator maker Saluda Medical, which has offices in Bloomington; $54 million for cancer-therapy system maker HistoSonics, which has offices in Minneapolis; and $33 million for Brooklyn Park-based ShiraTronics, which is working on a system to fight migraine headaches.