Category Archives: medtech

topic is about medical technology of different types, describing specific products under development, the market for them or their impact on healthcare

Biological growth factors in wound care drive big revenue growth, too

Extensive research has demonstrated that wound fluid is rich in growth factors. Growth factors are naturally occurring proteins found primarily in platelets and macrophages. They are needed for normal wound healing to promote growth and migration of fibroblasts, endothelial cells and keratinocytes. The functions of growth factors include; attraction of cells to the wound site (chemotaxis), stimulation of cell division/ proliferation (mitogenic competence/progressive), differentiation of cells into specific phenotypes (transformation), and stimulation of cells to perform functions or secrete other growth factors. Growth factors bind to receptors on the cell surface where they activate cellular proliferation and/or differentiation. There are a number of growth factors which are involved in wound healing at different points in time. Many are quite versatile and capable of stimulating cellular division in different cell types; others are specific to a particular cell type.

Below is a list of the growth factors involved in wound healing:

  • Epidermal growth factor
  • Transforming growth factor-α
  • Hepatocyte growth factor
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor
  • Platelet derived growth factor
  • Fibroblast growth factor 1 and 2
  • Transforming growth factor-β
  • Keratinocyte growth factor

(The origins, effects and companies pursuing development of these growth factors are described in link.)

Since the market for growth factors in wound management is very new, there are as yet only a few players, but with compound growth in this market pushing well over 20% annually, the lucrative market will stimulate a burst of new entrants over the next few years. Currently, Smith & Nephew holds a dominant position due to its acquisition of Healthpoint Biotherapeutics (pre-acquisition market shares shown separately, below).

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Additional companies include Citagenix, Cytomedix, Daewoong Pharmaceutical, Macrocure and others.

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S249.

And, then, Medtronic bought in to wound care

With Medtronic’s pending $42.9 billion purchase of Covidien, the company now has bought itself a seat at the global wound management table. No, this is not a “current” concern for other active wound market companies, since Covidien is not dominant a contender in wound management — the aggregate of its Covidien and Kendall branded products’ presence is a meager 6%.

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Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S249.

However, Medtronic never settles for low market share, so it is fair to assume that Medtronic’s planned future involvement in wound management and other of Covidien’s markets is likely to be anything but the “status quo”.

Stay tuned…

Glucose monitoring research drives more promises than answers

If I had a nickel for every headline like this that ultimately failed, like the technology, to actually achieve the promise, I would be on a tropical beach sipping pina coladas:

“Glucose monitoring for diabetes made easy with a blood-less method” (link)

Technologies in development for less-invasive or non-invasive glucose monitoring are legion, and many are very promising, but you can’t fill out a deposit slip with these promises. Frequently, such alternatives are based on the premise of quantifying blood glucose by sensitively detecting glucose in other fluids (interstitial fluid, tears, saliva, urine, etc.) that do not require the use of lancets to draw blood. However, despite their sensitivity and other sophistication in detecting minute quantities of glucose, their “arm’s length” to actual blood glucose compounds the challenge by requiring that the test reproducibly correlate the sample values with actual, current blood glucose levels.

The challenge stands unanswered, while the burgeoning population of endlessly finger-pricked diabetics remains painfully unsatisfied.

As a practical reality, continuous blood glucose monitors like those from Dexcom and Medtronic offer far more to the diabetic population, not only by avoiding finger pricks but also by revealing the patterns in blood glucose levels over time as a result of activity, carbohydrate intake, insulin bolus, insulin basal rate, stress and countless other patient-specific determinants.

Medtech fundings for June 2014

Fundings in medical technology for the month of June totaled $445 million, led by fundings of Benvenue Medical ($64 million) and InSightec ($50 million).

Below are the top fundings in the month.

Company funding Product/technology
Benvenue Medical, Inc., has raised $64 million in a round of funding according to the company Minimally invasive implants for spine surgery
InSightec, Inc., has raised $50 million in a Series D round of funding according to the company MR-guided focused ultrasound
Pixium Vision has raised $46.7 million in an initial public offering according to press reports Implants to treat blindness
OrthoPediatrics Corp. has raised $39 million in a round of funding according to a regulatory filing Orthopedic implant technologies designed for pediatric use
Cheetah Medical, Inc., has raised $33.85 million in a round of funding according to a regulatory filing Non-invasive hemodynamic monitoring
Spinal Kinetics, Inc., has raised $33.85 million of a planned $34.77 million round of funding according to a regulatory filing Motion preservation systems, including artificial discs, for degenerative disc disease

For a complete list of medtech fundings in June 2014, see link.

For a full list of the fundings in medtech, by month, since 2009, see link.

Cosmetic surgery dominated by lipoplasty, breast augmentation

By comparison to reconstructive surgery, which is overwhelmingly dominated by one type (reconstruction associated with tumor removal), the global distribution of cosmetic surgery procedures is very fragmented, with more than a dozen different surgeries performed over 100,000 times annually. The dominant procedures remain lipoplasty and breast augmentation:

Worldwide Distribution of Cosmetic Surgery By Type

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Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S710.

Reconstructive surgery is increasingly aesthetic

Reconstructive surgery is the subset of “plastic” surgery focused on correcting the anatomy, aesthetics, or both, for patients who have been treated for disease or trauma, which sets it apart from purely aesthetic procedures performed for people wishing to improve their appearance above and beyond what they were given by birth (excluding congenital defects) or to reduce the signs of aging.

Given the volume of the non-clinically-indicated aesthetic procedures, and their increasingly sophisticated techniques and technologies, reconstructive surgery specialists have integrated aesthetics advances and can now achieve spectacular results that go well beyond the simple reconstructive procedures of the past, which were much less effective in concealing the trace evidence of disease and trauma.

By far, the most common reconstructive procedures are to address the physical appearance resulting from the removal of tumors. In the U.S. alone, reconstruction for tumor removal is performed over 4 million times annually. The remainder of reconstructive procedures covers a gamut of major and minor trauma and diseases.

Below is the distribution of non-aesthetic (only) reconstructive procedures in the U.S.

reconstructive-pie

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S710.

Through 2018, the global medical reconstructive and aesthetic products market is expected to reach a value of about $10.7 billion. Energy-based products such as lasers will experience the highest growth level. In most geographical regions and particularly in the U.S. and Europe, there is a growing consumer demand for medical cosmetic procedures and through 2020, even the lower income groups are likely to demand for more procedures, as the treatments become increasingly main stream. During the past few years, practitioners in the U.S. were rather forced to implement discounts and now with the revival of the economy, the total fee growth is likely to rebound. Successful companies in the sector mostly rely on a formula for continued research and development, pursuing additional, new business opportunities to increase expertise and product offerings. These companies remain solidly active in the eyes of high-end dermatologists, plastic and cosmetic surgeons.  As the aesthetic market is all about new products, the companies will be left behind, if they do not come up a new product every now and then.


This post is drawn from, “Global Markets for Products and Technologies in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2013-2018″, Report #S710, published by MedMarket Diligence, LLC.  For details, see link/a>.

Shifting demand, sales in aesthetics and reconstructive products markets

Data from our report, “Global Markets for Products and Technologies in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2013-2018″, illustrates the changing demand for different procedures in aesthetics and reconstructive medicine, which is resulting in projected shifts in the sales of products.

Below is are the compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) for North American sales in the major types of aesthetic and reconstructive procedures.

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Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S710.