The Atlantic has a great piece today about why the medtech and biotech industries are losing the backing of Silicon Valley investors. Silicon Valley running from medtech

The writer, Allan May, who founded and chairs Life Science Angels and serves as chairman of the Kauffman Angel Resource Institute, says the industry receives around a third of all angel and venture capital investments. These funds, he says, are critical to innovation in the industries, but the money is going away.

May cites three reasons:

  1. VC firms and capital are down two-thirds since the 2008 financial crisis.
  2. Those...
September 23rd, 2011
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Boston Scientific is planning on awarding its next president and CEO a pay package valued at more than $20 million, according to a recent SEC filing. The company has chosen Michael Mahoney (pictured on the right), an executive at J&J as its new leader. He will receive a $1.5-million signing bonus, a base salary worth $900,000, stock benefits valued at $16.7 million, as well as a number of other benefits. Boston Scientific announced the hire of Mahoney a few weeks ago. 

Although that's an impressive amount, it's actually considerably less than what the company offered current CEO Ray Elliott in 2009; he received a pay package worth $33.5 million for his first year at Boston Scienfitic.

By contrast,...

September 23rd, 2011
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Bill Betten of UBM TechInsightsBill Betten, an experienced engineer with extensive experience in the medical device industry is the latest member to join MD+DI's editorial advisory board (EAB). Currently a senior technical advisor for UBM TechInsights, Betten previously served as the vice-president of engineering for Nonin Medical (Plymouth, MN). Before that, he held various positions with executive and management responsibility at a number of firms including 3M, Teradyne, Plasmon IDE, Datacard, and Honeywell. He also has served as a program/project manager for a number of product development efforts in a range of technical sectors.

In his current position, Betten is responsible for business development activities associated with intellectual property assessment and management. He also serves as a technical expert with regard to the...

September 23rd, 2011
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Body computing is a description of implanted wireless technology that transmits physiologic data to doctors or patients in real time. One of the biggest proponents of body computing is Leslie Saxon, MD, a cardiologist and professor at the University of Southern California (USC; Los Angeles), who has referred to the school as the “epicenter of wireless health.” A center established at the university has been tasked with collaborating with physicians and medical device companies to help bring new body computing technology to the marketplace. 

Tomorrow, Dr. Saxon will host the fourth annual body computing conference at USC. I asked Dr. Saxon via Twitter what users should expect. “A lot! Great demos, news announcement and...
September 22nd, 2011
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There are a number of strategies med-tech firms can use to minimize risk when doing business with China. We recently received helpful advice from a reader, who provides some commonsense advice to medical device companies that plan on doing business with Chinese firms. Writing in response to “The High Cost of Outsourcing to China,” David Scott Lewis first recommends looking for a Western firm that happens to have a location in China—as opposed to an outsourcing company with headquarters there. As an example of such a company, he cites Canadian electronics firm Maple Tree, which maintains operations in China.
 
He then...
September 22nd, 2011
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Could vaginal mesh products represent “the next medical device controversy”? That was the suggestion of an article over on Business Week. The devices, which have recently been implicated in roughly 600 lawsuits, have been getting a lot of attention lately (along with metal-on-metal implants). In July, FDA warned that there had been a fivefold increase in the number of women suffering complications caused by the devices. The number of lawsuits began to build after FDA made that announcement. “We’re getting an amazing number of calls,” explained attorney Bryan F. Aylstock of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz (Pensacola, FL)...
September 21st, 2011
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Harold Demsetz

In 1969, UCLA professor Harold Demsetz explained that, in public policy economics, an ideal norm is frequently compared with “an existing ‘imperfect situation.'” The tendency to compare a real situation with an idealized hypothetical solution was eventually dubbed the “nirvana fallacy.”

In a recent MD+DI article, Jim Dickinson explains that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, “attempts to measure FDA’s 510(k) program against...
September 20th, 2011
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New content posted to www.mddionline.com includes a blog on new legislation that would make the R&D tax credit permanent, a chat with Matt Jennings of Phillips Plastics, and a blog describing the Boston Herald's recent op-ed on the device tax.  

September 20th, 2011
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The U.S. is at a disadvantage compared to many nations when it comes to tax incentives. The above image is from the Deloitte Survey of R&D Tax Incentives.
Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) have announced proposed legislation that would simplify the research and development (R&D) tax credit and make it permanent. Slated to expire December 31, 2011, the tax credit has been extended 14 times since it became law in 1981. The tax credit is important for the medical device industry—especially early-stage start ups. Advamed has long supported...
September 19th, 2011
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The Boston Herald has joined the chorus of voices decrying the medical device tax. In a recent op-ed piece, the paper questioned the logic of the American Jobs Act in general and the device tax in particular, arguing that the job increases Obama's policies might create would be offset by layoffs stemming from the Affordable Care Act's tax provisions.

As the article explains, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is announcing that the U.S. government will invest $700 million of funding generated by the Affordable Care Act to create thousands of new jobs. The funding will be used to renovate and construct community health centers, Sebelius says. The thing is, practically everyone seems to agree that the medical device tax provision of that act are...

September 19th, 2011
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