It was a busy news week in medtech. Here's what you need to know to bring you up to speed quickly.

MDDI Staff

September 27, 2021

3 Min Read
Medtech news
Graphic by Amanda Pedersen / MD+DI

Patent Board Upholds Bulk of Medtronic Patent Claims

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has officially upheld most claims in the Medtronic patents that Axonics challenged, but this intellectual property feud is far from over. Axonics plans to appeal the PTAB’s decisions on the claims it declined to invalidate to the Director of the Patent & Trademark Office and to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The PTAB’s decision only relates to the issue of invalidity or patentability of the Medtronic patents and does not mean that Axonics infringes any of the patents. Medtronic said it plans to ask the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California to lift the stay on the IP infringement case and resume proceedings. Axonics, however, said it expects the stay on legal proceedings to continue until the appeals process is complete.

GE Healthcare Bets Big on a Company with a Checkered Past

GE Healthcare has agreed to acquire BK Medical for $1.45 billion. BK was a 2016 Medical Design Excellence Award finalist for its handheld ultrasound device designed to improve patient outcomes by enabling clinicians to achieve vascular access at first stick. That same year, however, the company shelled out a total of $14.9 million to settle a U.S. bribery probe when it was a subsidiary of Analogic.

And in case you missed our last Medtech in a Minute report...

Glaukos and Ivantis Settle Patent Suit

Ivantis will pay Glaukos $60 million to settle the dispute. Ivantis will also pay Glaukos a 10% ongoing royalty through April 26, 2025, based on Hydrus Microstent sales. There's a new twist in the story, however, so be sure to check out Monday's edition of the Qmed and MD+DI Daily for more. Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up, it's free!

Testimony Continues Against Elizabeth Holmes

The medtech company that once boasted having a valuation of $9 billion was not only losing millions, but for some years it didn’t produce any revenue while telling investors differently. This is according to testimony from Theranos' financial controller San Ho Spivey, who also goes by Danies Yam, in the ongoing fraud trial against Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes. Also, for a quick visual of how Theranos' valuation skyrocketed and then plummeted (based on available data), check out this graphic by News Editor Amanda Pedersen. For lighter scrolling, check out these people who are as obsessed with the trial as we are.

Harvard Dropouts Launch Digital Therapeutic Company Backed by Sesame Street

The founders of Luminopia left Harvard after their freshman year to pursue a digital therapeutics venture that started out as a class project. The company, which emerged this week from stealth mode, developed a virtual reality software application to treat amblyopia, better known as lazy eye. The real genius of the technology is that it asks children with the condition to do something they actually want to do — watch television shows and movies. Oh, and the new medtech company has also landed a partnership and investment deal with the creators of Sesame Street. If Big Bird approves, it must be pretty good, right?

All of the medtech stories above appeared in the Qmed and MD+DI Daily newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

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