Startup Medtech Companies, September 2006

Startup Companies Identified in September 2006 MedMarkets

Company
Principal(s)
Location
Product/Technology
Founded
AcelRx
Thomas A. Schreck
Portola Valley, CA
Drug-device technology for treatment of breakthrough pain
2006
Amaranth Medical, Inc.
Guy Heathers, Charter Life Sciences
E. Palo Alto, CA
Bioresorbable drug-eluting stents
2006
Arbel Medical Ltd.
Didier Toubia, CEO
Yoknean, Israel
Cryosurgical ablation technology
2006
CardioInsight Technologies, Inc
Warren Goldenberg, CEO
Cleveland, OH
Electrocardiographic imaging of the heart’s electrical activity
2006
Minos Medical, Inc.
Bradley J. Sharp, CEO
Irvine, CA
Minimally invasive (HIFU) surgical systems for appendectomy, cholecystectomy and hysterectomy
2006
nContact Surgical, Inc.
John P. Funkhouser, President & CEO
Morrisville, NC
Intraoperative tissue coagulation devices
2005
OmniMedics, Inc.
Alan Cohen
Newton, MA
Cardiac device
2006
Sirion Therapeutics, Inc.
Philippe Boulangeat, Chief Business Officer
Tampa, FL
Therapeutic ophthalmology compounds and other products
2006

AcelRx, Inc. (Portola Valley, CA; http://acelrx.com [under construction])
Amaranth Medical, Inc. (East Palo Alto, CA; no URL)
Arbel Medical Ltd. (Yoknean, Israel;
http://arbel-medical.com [under construction])
CardioInsight Technologies, Inc. (Cleveland, OH;
http://cardioinsight.com)
Minos Medical, Inc. (Irvine, CA; http://minosmedical.com)
nContact Surgical, Inc. (Morrisville, NC;
http://ncontact.us)
OminiMedics, Inc. (Newton, MA;
http://omnimedics.com)
Sirion Therapeutics, Inc. (Tampa, FL;
http://siriontherapeutics.com)

August 2006 startup medtech companies

These are the startup companies we identified and have published in the August 2006 issue of MedMarkets.

Artisan Therapeutics, Inc. — Framingham, MA; no URL
Andrew Tehnologies, Inc. — Haddonfield, NJ; http://andewtechnologies.com [under contruction]
Nitric BioTherapeutics, Inc. — Brisol, PA; no URl
Recovery Science, LLC — Hollywood, MD; no URL
SurgiQuest, Inc. — Fairfield, CT; no URL

Source: MedMarkets, August 2006, MedMarket Diligence, LLC

Tags: , , , ,

Megatrends in Medical Technology

(June 2006 MedMarket Outlook in MedMarkets)

Megatrends in Medical Technology
Aside from other trends in the medical product industry we’ve addressed previously in MedMarket Outlook, such as the dissolution of boundaries between device and pharmaceutical technologies, the increasing integration of information and information technologies with medtech, and the rise of “holistic research” (aka “systems biology”) that recognizes the value of studying pathology with a multidisciplinary scientific approach, there are specific overarching trends and forces that are changing medical technology and the markets for them on a grand scale.

Stem Cell Research
The debate about stem cell research was no more likely to end as a result of President Bush’s restriction on federal funding as it was that the established cell lines would be sufficient or appropriate for research (they weren’t) or that the case would abate (as they have not) for the use of stem cells in the treatment of diabetes, Parkinson’s, spinal cord injury or other disease and disorders. Here, we make no ethical case for or against embryonic or somatic stem cell research — the debate is likely to become wholly moot in a matter of time — we only comment on the inevitability of the science moving forward one way or another. In June, Harvard University’s Harvard Stem Cell Institute confirmed that two projects focused on cloning to produce embryonic stem cells will move forward under private funding. The projects employ the same general type of research, somatic cell nuclear transfer, that is underway at the University of California at San Francisco and at the University of Connecticut’s Center for Regenerative Biology. Aside from these approaches, a cursory review of the state of cell research in general and stem cell research in particular will reveal that researchers have both the innovation and the willingness to pursue cell therapeutics that lead to treatments heretofore not possible. It seems fairly certain that, looking back at progress in the development of the range of cell therapies, the Bush administration’s federal funding restriction will be seen to have produced a momentary hitch rather than the obstacle it was originally portrayed as producing.

Nano- and Microscale Juggernaut Forces
There are as many different functions — maybe even more — being provided by technologies designed around nanoscale or microscale level as there are different types of these technologies. The sole criteria for technologies grouped into the nano and micro categories is size. Aside from their size, there is then little common among these technologies, which represent an incredible array of devices, molecules, materials and other products that achieve functions not possible on the macro scale, even if one only considers nano- and microscale medical applications. These range from products that are largely nanoscale materials (e.g., silver nanoparticles as antimicrobials in wound management) to those providing functions such as artificial retinas, cancer diagnostics, drug delivery and biosensors. As an industry, nanotechnology (more so than MEMS, which has found considerable realized success) has been plagued by a combination of inflated promise and underestimated technical hurdles, but while MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) has found bigger initial commercial success, nanotechnology has begun scoring commercial success that will ultimately result in markets that will eclipse MEMS products by orders of magnitude.

Open Surgery in Decline, or the Rise of the Minimally Invasive, Less Invasive, Interventional, Percutaneous and Other Alternatives to Surgery
Often stated, but never emphasized enough, is the compelling drive for treatments (that were all too recently delivered exclusively via surgery) to be associated with, or replaced by, ever-decreasing invasiveness. Device manufacturers have well established records for producing devices that not only minimize the trauma of surgery (e.g., laparoscopy) but also promise to make open surgery obsolete (e.g., percutaneous procedures like coronary anastomosis). Driving this trend is the persistent recognition that “collateral damage” in achieving clinical outcomes is unacceptable, whether from the perspective of the physician seeking to optimize results, the healthcare system seeking to minimize the costs of healthcare (or optimize revenue streams by being able to market the latest less-invasive techniques) or the patient seeking to minimize the impact of surgery on his/her busy lifestyle.

Disease State-Centered Marketplaces
Certain technologies in certain clinical areas remain the predominant if not exclusive option for treatment in those areas. However, in 2006, any legitimate competitive analysis of a market considers a multitude of different technology types. Case in point: any treatment for coronary artery disease will of necessity consider the competitive threat of bare versus eluting stents, angioplasty, atherectomy (waning but not gone), products for identification/treatment of vulnerable plaque, traditional coronary artery bypass, MIDCAB, OPCAB and other bypass variants (e.g. robotics), percutaneous bypass, atherosclerosis-reversing drugs and others. Compelling arguments must be created through the intrinsic advantages of new technologies in order to secure sought-after shelf space in the cost-fixated healthcare system armamentarium.

Materials Science Creating/Upending Markets
Underlying a stunning number of new technologies, from biodegradable/resobable stents, cellular scaffolds and a wide arrange of other implant types are the advances in materials sciences that are leading to the ability to engineer implants that now go well beyond providing solely structural roles. Driving these advances are the needs to improve upon the function of implants as static, inert devices that do not fully reflect the in situ need upon implantation, fail to adapt to changing conditions or otherwise do not provide the functions that optimize the end results of the implants’ use. Whether by impregnation with different substances or by the nature of the implant material employed, implants have improved considerably in being able to not induce an anti-inflammatory response, to provide anti-microbial function to the device, to minimize formation of blood clots and to avoid the effects like restenosis of vasculature following interventional procedures. With the need for implants frequently changing at some point after their implantation, more devices — biodegradable/bioresorbable stents, matrices/scaffolds for tissue engineering and others — are being developed that are either resorbed completely by the body or just enough to be expelled in whole or in part once their purposes have been served. Lastly, materials science and implant engineering in general have also been able to simply produce implants that are more easily deployed through tortuous twists in vessels or through narrow channels in endoscopic devices. Expectations are that more complex functions will be served by implants as a result of these trends and forces in development, from the increasing sophistication of drug delivery in various passive and active forms, to the ability of implants to respond via biofeedback to changing conditions in situ, and to providing increasingly sensor-like functions. Increasing demands are being made of the medical product marketplace — cost, competitive technologies, financial performance of public companies, etc. — but it seems clear that these demands are driving the proliferation of technologies that indeed satisfy them, sometimes with each advance creating ever greater demand in an endless progression. It also seems apparent that this “technology burst” is taking place simultaneously with the increasingly strident need for healthcare costs to get under control. The focus in the U.S. Congress on the need for Medicare reform, and reform in the U.S. healthcare system overall (up to an including the increasing drive toward universal healthcare), is gaining greater intensity and may well yield more than nominal changes to the system. The medical product industry is likely to both respond to these changes and facilitate solutions that we can scarcely imagine even now.

Tags: , , ,

Categories on medtech companies tracked

Not a great picture, I know, but this is partly due to technology limitation (mobile phone pic sent to go@mobile.com). But this is a screenshot of the one of the database data entry forms used in our internal company database, which in turn is used to track medtech companies (and other entities (e.g., VCs, providers, etc.) active in medtech. The categories include technology type (biopharm, device, pharm, biotech), major clinical applications (cardio dx, cardio tx, surgery, orthopedics, cell therapy, tissue engineering, patient monitoring, minimally invasive therapies, etc., etc.). We also segment by manufacturer, distributer, healthcare provider, etc.

Tags: , ,

Startup Medtech Companies

These are recent startups I am reporting on in the April issue of my newsletter. As always, there’s no guarantee (or endorsement on my part) that any of these will succeed:

Company
Principals or Investors
Location
Technology
Founded
Bioasssessments, LLCPeter Hyde, Christopher HydeElkton, MDReal-time angiotensin monitor for salt sensitivity2006
Neotract, Inc.New Enterprise AssociatesPalo Alto, CASurgical urological devices2005
NeuroLife Noninvasive SolutionsDaniel McChesney, MDPittsburgh, PA
Noninvasive device to accurately monitor brain pressure2006


The newsletter is described here. The coverage in back issues is detailed here.

Our VC tracking URLs

These are some of the VC and other sites we track to keep an eye on new investments and new technologies in order to identify formation of new medtech companies.


http://www.atvcapital.com/portfolioGroup.php?id=9

http://www.aperturevp.com/portfolio.htm

http://www.arcapita.com/corporate/current/current-healthcare.html

http://www.canaan.com/portfolio_life.html

http://www.carecapital.com/companies.asp
http://www.dpbioventures.com/

http://www.domainvc.com/Portfolio.asp?Filter=A
http://www.frazierhealthcare.com/portfolio/index.asp
http://www.goldenpineventures.com/portfolio.htm
http://www.herculestech.com/portfolio/portfolio.asp?CompanyID=3225&IndustryID=15

http://www.denovovc.com/portfolio/index.html
http://www.wispartners.com/

http://www.kpcb.com/portfolio/portfolio.php?lifescience

http://www.lifescienceangels.com/content.php?cid=1013
http://www.magicvc.com/portfolio/index.html

http://www.masonwells.com/Portfolio.htm

http://www.massmedic.com/members_primary.htm
http://www.nea.com/PortfolioCompanies/Healthcare/Devices/index.cfm?&SA=1

http://www.nlvpartners.com/portfolio.html#medical
http://silk.nih.gov/public/cbz2zoz.@www.sbirsttr.fy2006.txt
http://www.northbayangels.com/pages/DealsDone.jsp

http://www.onset.com/portfolio/index.html

https://www.pequotventures.com/portfolio/healthcare.html

http://www.pitango.com/portfolio.asp

http://www.polarisventures.com/Portfolio/ViewBySector.asp#

http://www.pwcmoneytree.com/moneytree/nav.jsp?page=industry
http://www.prismventure.com/portfolio/lifescience.asp
http://www.radiusventures.com/healthcare_industry.asp
http://www.tvmvc.com/site/lsportfolio.php
http://www.threearchpartners.com/html/portfolio.html
http://www.tmvp.com/Portfolio.html
http://www.tricardia.com/
http://www.usvp.com/home.html

http://www.devicelink.com/links/venture.html
http://www.versantventures.com/portfolio.html
http://www.wfdventures.com/index.html

Startups Redux

In my previous post, I went generous and added the startups I planned to include in our March publication. I hav subsequently realized I was being too generous, as I keep finding out that many people in the medical product industry are clamoring for new technology/ideas, but (partly because of the interest) the small medical technology companies are increasingly inclined toward stealth. SOOO, it behooves me to try to recoup the costs I have incurrent in my hard-earned effort at ferretting out these little company gems. So, I’ve published a compilation of the startups I have identified who have been founded from January 2005 to March 2006.As good readers of this blog (sigh), I will be more than happy to reward you with occasional free listings of those companies.

See the new Startup report/listing described here.

Some new startups (wink)

Normally, I would not do this (add subscription content to this blog), but I thought I would drop a list of some new companies (from my Startups table in MedMarkets that I publish every month). Here are the ones from the upcoming March issue. For reference, my goal is to find companies that have been founded in the past month (not when they say they were founded, but when their corporate filings were done — a harsher measure of how “new” they are). Sometimes I’ll go a little farther back and publish on companies who have done an exceptional job at staying in stealth mode, but who have suddenly become apparent to me. If they are new to me (I am constantly looking), then maybe my customers haven’t heard of them either.

Company

Principal

Location

Product/Technology

Founded

Aragon Surgical, Inc.

Onset Ventures

Palo Alto, CA

Surgical device platform designed to reduce OR time

2005

EpiTeK, Inc.

Jean Paul Rasschaert

Pittsburgh, PA

Minimally invasive device to prevent strokes in atrial fibrillation

2004

i25tech, Inc.

John Dunning, President

Santa Fe, NM

Undisclosed device for treatment of a variety of diseases

2005

Keramed, Inc.

Yichieh Shiuey

Cupertino, CA

Device for facilitating corneal transplantation

2005

Oringen, LLC

John Krusinski, President & CEO

Tallmadge, OH

Liquid crystal sensor for bacteria and viruses

2006

Transtimulation Research, Inc.

Jiande Chen

Oklahoma City, OK

Intestinal pacing for obesity

2005

Aragon Surgical, LLC — Palo Alto, CA; no URL
EpiTeK, Inc. — Pittsburgh, PA; http://epitek.com (under construction)
i25Tech, Inc. — Santa Fe, NM; http://i25tech.com (under construction)
Keramed, Inc. — Cupertino, CA; http://keramed.com (under construction)
Oringen, LLC — Tallmadge, OH; no URL
Transtimulation Research Inc. — Oklahoma City, OK; no URL



Stealth medical technologies

The need to keep innovation under wraps until it has been allowed to develop enough to maximize the value is driving more and more companies to eschew any kind of promotion until they are actively seeking investment to formally bring the technologies out into the open as part of market introduction.At least by our anecdotal evidence — in the number of companies who we identify (by corporate filing or otherwise) but who have successfully avoided disclosing the nature of their technology anywhere.

There is a change in the dynamics at work here. It is doubtful that it is a diminution of hubris among entrepreneurs that is undercutting self-promotion, since pride is the trait that sets them out on their own in the first place. It is instead the result of at least two forces: (1) tacit recognition that with funding comes insidious influence to be studiously avoided until absolutely unavoidable and (2) tacit recognition that the hunger is great enough for new technologies that the innovator can take greater risk in funding from the 3F’s before seeking formal investment at market introduction.Of course, we have ways of piercing the stealth veil, and we’re getting better at doing so.

Medical product industry investment making a turn

Healthcare product (medical device and biotech) investment, like all investment in the past four years, has been pinched, but not so much as one might believe. The total investment has been relatively stable, and in fact has increased recently in the both the aggregate and for medical devices specifically. What is more the case with investment in the post-9/11 and post dotcom era is the conservative shift in that investment, notably a shift in investment from earlier or expansion stage of company development to later stage investments. We’ve talked about this before. (Perhaps the most telling aspect over the past four years has been that MedMarket Diligence experienced a big increase in information purchased from the investment community, apparently no longer satisfied solely with their own research.) The conservative shift is waning, however. We’ve read the tea leaves and see signs (numbers of deals, size of the deals, and numbers of startups forming) that opportunity-hungry investors are ready to take more chances.Expect the following to happen in 2006 – barring any unforeseen global event (let’s be safe, but let’s also live our lives!). Aggregate investment in healthcare products will take a healthy jump, with a measurably bigger share going to medical devices, and investment will shift back upstream in the development cycle. Many more deals, at bigger average investments (i.e., $10 million each).