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Turning the Corner

Originally Published MX March/April 2006

COVER STORY

Interview by Steve Halasey

For an emerging medical technology company, having access to a platform technology—an intellectual property portfolio that offers a wide range of potential medical applications--isn't a bad way to begin. That was certainly the starting point for RITA Medical Systems (Fremont, CA), which was founded in 1994 to develop the medical applications of a technology for radio-frequency interstitial tissue ablation (hence the acronym, RITA). After receiving a general FDA clearance for the use of its technology in ablating soft tissue, the company began to explore additional applications and received clearance for intended uses against unresectable liver tumors.

But the blessings of a widely applicable technology can also become a company executive's worst nightmare. With limited staff time—and sometimes even scarcer funding—prioritizing company efforts to conduct clinical research, gain regulatory approvals, approach a wide variety of clinical specialists, and gain reimbursement coverage can become an all-absorbing challenge.

RITA Medical's president and CEO Joseph M. DeVivo on turning acquisition and integration into sector leadership
Photo by KENT CLEMENCO
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