Sleep apnea wearable company NightBalance raises $13.9M

By Heather Mack
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Sleep apnea device developer NightBalance announced today it has raised $13.9 million (EU €12.5 million) in second round funding led by INKEF Capital and Gilde Healthcare Partners. The Dutch company will use the funds to further advance the rollout of its Sleep Position Trainer (SPT) device and enter the US market.
 
In addition to the funding, NightBalance also added four new members to its board, including John Lipman, who will lead the U.S. expansion. The company is also planning for further clinical studies in the US and preparing to file for FDA 510(k) clearance for its SPT device.
 
The SPT device, which is worn on the chest and continuously measures sleep position, trains patients not to sleep on their back through gentle vibratory “nudges.” The SPT activates itself after 30 minutes, allowing the patient to fall asleep in any position, and then uses individually adjusted vibration strengths and patterns to prevent positional obstructive sleep apnea.
 
“In the EU and US alone, an estimated 25 million people suffer from sleep apnea, of which 80 percent goes undiagnosed or is not helped with current treatments; our mission is to change these lives,” Eline Vrijlan-van Beest, founder and CEO of NightBalance, said in a statement. “This financing will allow us to move full steam ahead and increase our market penetration in Europe’s billion dollar market, and -- under the leadership of John Lipman who joins us from Apnicure Inc. -- build the necessary infrastructure to access the US market.”
 
Currently, the SPT doesn't have Bluetooth connectivity or the capacity for wireless data transfer. Instead, to view data from the SPT, such as how many times throughout the night patients were encouraged to change position, patients must connect the device to a computer via USB  and use the companion software that comes with the device.