Home sleep test maker gets capital boost

Sunday, March 9, 2008

PASADENA, Calif. - Sleep Solutions, a maker of home sleep test devices, received a $20.5 million boost in venture funding from TPG Biotechnology, the companies announced March 5.

"It's a nice confirmation from a blue-chip firm," said Michael Thomas, president and CEO of SSI. "We are hoping to use this to take a substantial lead in this market. On the flip side, the market is so huge, there is room for lots of players."

The deal comes on the eve of CMS's final coverage decision for at-home tests, expected later this week. Industry leaders widely expect the agency to opt in favor of allowing the tests. Some private insurers already cover at-home testing but more would do so in the wake of a favorable decision by CMS, say industry leaders.

"Just from the Medicare decision alone, we are anticipating a nice little flood of patients," said Thomas.

An estimated 80% to 90% of a projected 40 million Americans suffering from OSA are undiagnosed, oftentimes citing the cost and inconvenience of going to a sleep lab for a full sleep study.

"Studies have shown that 22% to 27% of folks never show up at the labs," said Thomas. "Over the next three years, I think we'll put a pretty decent dent in the market for undiagnosed OSA."

Sleep Solutions plans to build its national sales and marketing reach, expand facilities and continue developing applications for its devices, according to a press release.

"We're ramping up right now," said Thomas. "We already have plans to expand in San Jose and Maryland."