Of global markets, real markets (e.g., medtech) and revealing the value

The global financial market and economy is a capricious beast.  The Dow gained a total of 10% since hitting the 12 year low on Monday.  Now, I don’t particularly see anything as having made the world 10% better since Monday, nor did I believe that the world was really as bad, on Monday, as it had been in 12 years. It’s all potential implication, anticipated effects or the current view of how bad or good things might get.  So I don’t focus on those things.  There are others who can predict financial markets better than I can, although there are certainly too few who can do it well enough. (Ask CNBC’s Cramer.)

It is easier, not easy, but easier for me to look at medical technology markets.  I fundamentally understand, or can quickly learn, what makes a new technology worthwhile or not.  Does it have a competitive position in the market? Does it either treat patients more effectively for conditions in which no treatment was previously perceived as adequate?  Is this clinical benefit perceived and appreciated by physicians, patients and, most importantly, third party payers?

The markets I examine are those that have been largely or traditionally served by medical devices.  These include therapeutic areas primarily in cardiology, surgery, and orthopedics. (While I do occasionally examine diagnostic markets, they are governed by different dynamics and, in any case, I am biased toward therapeutic intervention.)  But, as anyone in the medtech arena understands now, medical technology markets are not so neatly categorized as device OR drug OR biotech.  Drug-coated stents, bioresorbable orthopedic implants, bioresorbable matrices for tissue ingrowth, etc. There are whole host of new players to consider who are competing head-on with devices or whose products are complementary to, or even hybridized with, devices.  It’s a moving target.

Still, concentrating on traditional device markets is logical, especially since the manufacturers are focused on specific diseases, which then becomes a focal point for market players.

Another major consideration I have in looking at markets is that I will always assess the global market for specific products and technologies. Once was you could "get away with" assessing only the U.S. or Europe, but none of my customers will be content with evaluating the market potential for their products in only the U.S. or only Europe.  (I recently encountered a report for a medical technology market analysis of Russia, which must have been fascinating, very difficult and not worth very much.)

Analyzing global markets for medical technologies is hard, but analyzing only part of global markets is even harder.  It’s easier for us to be able to look at a company’s total revenues and know that that represents their total picture rather than needing to further determine what share of that was U.S. versus Europe versus rest of world.

Global markets we have recently analyzed:

  • Surgical sealants, glues, wound closure and anti-adhesion market, 2009-2013 details
  • Ablation technologies market, 2008-2017 details
  • Spine surgery market, 2008-2017 details
  • Wound management market, 2007-2016 details

We are also working on a March or April release of our worldwide report on "Drug-Eluting, Bare and Other Coronary Stents, 2009-2018," (details).  This is a huge market, with many players, and most importantly is a growing and dynamic market.  There is already a great detail of value built into the report we are preparing.  We are not Boston Scientific or J&J or Abbott or Medtronic or any other current or potential market participant, so what we say about this market has been filtered of bias, is based on an equanimous view of each product, technology and company.  And we feel such a market is important for analysis, especially with all of the press (including manufacturers’ potential to "spin" clinical trial results to their favor).

Coronary artery disease, as I have oft-repeated in the past, is a rare case of clinical practice variation, product/technology development and human value converging. This is why the coronary stent business alone is a $5+ billion market.  The disease may be addressed by angioplasty alone, angioplasty with stenting, atherectomy, percutaneous myocardial revascularization, traditional coronary artery bypass, minimally invasive direct coronary artery bypass, percutaneous coronary artery bypass, atherosclerotic plaque-reducing drugs, etc., etc. It’s a very exciting area to address.  It’s a very valuable area to address, since there is real value to be gained in succeeding, not just in the analysis, but in the medtech markets through saving lives.

It is comforting to be able to address the value in medical technology markets when, by comparison, the value of financial markets is driven up or down so whimsically by who said what about Chapter 11, unemployment rates, GDP, etc.

I love medical technology.


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