Medical technologies at startups, July 2014

Below is a list of technologies under development at medical technology startups identified in July 2014 and included in the Medtech Startups Database.

  • thrombectomyInstrumentation for electrophysiology diagnosis and treatment.
  • Products for the treatment of hypertension and other chronic disease by interventional cardiologists
  • Surgical stapling device for use during natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery.
  • Low cost medical technologies to improve patient management in emerging markets.
  • Heart valve for the treatment of mitral valve regurgitation
  • Thrombectomy catheter
  • Microstaple bandage for wound closure.
  • Whole-body cryotherapy chambers as well as devices for local cryotherapy and cryosurgery.
  • Minimally invasive surgical device for the treatment of glaucoma
  • Electrical muscle stimulation.

For a historical listing of medical technologies at startups, see link.

Technologies at Medtech Startups, May 2014

Below is a list of the new medical technologies under development at startups we identified in May 2014 and added to the Medtech Startups Database.

  • Patient positioning system for use in hip replacement and other orthopedic procedures.
  • Instrumentation to facilitate hip replacement surgery and other orthopedic instrumentation.
  • Drug-coated stent-valve designed to inhibit stenosis, obstruction or calcification of the valve.
  • Implants for the treatment of aneurysm.
  • Orthopedic implant technologies including a force sensor to measure performance of an orthopedic articular joint.
  • Insulin patch pump for treatment of insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes.
  • Undisclosed tissue vascular technology
  • Rapid, accurate, inexpensive diagnostic devices initially focused on malaria.
  • Device for diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy.
  • Tumor-targeted drug delivery.
  • Near infrared technology for blood glucose monitoring in diabetes.
  • Non-resorbable films for anti-adhesion.
  • Angioplasty double balloon for treatment of peripheral vascular disease.
  • Device to reduce the risk of ventilator-associated pneumonia.
  • Trocar, sleeve and tip for minimally invasive endoscopic surgery.

For a historical listing of the technologies at medtech startups, see link.

Tissue Engineering and Cell Therapy Market Outlook

The market for tissue engineering and cell therapy products is set to grow to nearly $32 billion by 2018. This figure includes bioengineered products that are themselves cells or are actively stimulating cell growth or regeneration, products that often represent a combination of biotechnology, medical device and pharmaceutical technologies. The largest segment in the overall market for regenerative medicine technologies and products comprises orthopedic applications. Other key sectors are cardiac and vascular disease, neurological diseases, diabetes, inflammatory diseases and dental decay and injury.

An overview (map) of the spectrum of clinical applications in tissue engineering and cell therapy is shown below:

Source: Report #S520

Cell therapy is defined as a process whereby new cells are introduced into tissue as a method of treating disease; the process may or may not include gene therapy. Forms of cell therapy can include: transplantation of autologous (from the patient) or allogeneic (from a donor) stem cells , transplantation of mature, functional cells, application of modified human cells used to produce a needed substance, xenotransplantation of non-human cells used to produce a needed substance, and transplantation of transdifferentiated cells derived from the patient’s differentiated cells.

Once considered a segment of biomaterial technologies, tissue engineering has evolved into its own category and now comprises a combination of cells, engineering and suitable biochemical and physiochemical factors to improve or replace biological functions. These include ways to repair or replace human tissue with applications in nearly every medical specialty. Regenerative medicine is often synonymous with tissue engineering but usually focuses on the use of stem cells.

Tissue engineering and cell therapy may be considered comprised of bioengineered products that are themselves cells or are actively stimulating cell growth or regeneration. These often comprise a combination of biotechnology, medical device and pharmaceutical technologies.

Researchers have been examining tissue engineering and cell therapy for roughly 30 years. While some products in some specialties (such as wound care) have reached market, many others are still in research and development stages. In recent years, large pharmaceutical and medical device companies have provided funding for smaller biotech companies in the hopes that some of these products and therapies will achieve a highly profitable, commercial status. In addition, some companies have been acquired by larger medical device and pharmaceutical companies looking to bring these technologies under their corporate umbrellas. Many of the remaining smaller companies received millions of privately funded dollars per year in research and development. In many cases it takes at least ten years to bring a product to the point where human clinical trials may be conducted. Because of the large amounts of capital to achieve this, several companies have presented promising technologies only to close their doors and/or sell the technology to a larger company due to lack of funds.

The goal of stem cell research is to develop therapies to treat human disease through methods other than medication. Key aspects of this research are to examine basic mechanisms of the cell cycle (including the expression of genes during the formation of embryos) as well as specialization and differentiation into human tissue, how and when the differentiation takes place and how differentiated cells may be coaxed to differentiate into a specific type of cell. In the differentiation process, stem cells are signaled to become a specific, specialized type of cell when internal signals controlled by a cell’s genes are interspersed across long strands of DNA and carry coded instructions for all the structures and functions of a cell. In addition, cell differentiation may be caused externally by use of chemicals secreted by other cells, physical contact with neighboring cells and certain molecules in the microenvironment.

The end goal of stem cell research is to develop therapies that will allow the repair or reversal of diseases that previously were largely untreatable or incurable.. These therapies include treatment of neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, repair or replacement of damaged organs such as the heart or liver, the growth of implants from autologous cells, and even regeneration of lost digits or limbs.

In a developing human embryo, a specific layer of cells normally become precursor cells to cells found only in the central nervous system or the digestive system or the skin, depending on the cell layer and the elements of the embryo that direct cell differentiation. Once differentiated, many of these cells can only become one kind of cell. However, researchers have discovered that adult body cells exist that are either stem cells or can be coaxed to become stem cells that have the ability to become virtually any type of human cell, thus paving the way to engineer adult stem cell that can bring about repair or regeneration of tissues or the reversal of previously incurable diseases.

Another unique characteristic of stem cells is that they are capable of self-division and self-renewal over long periods of time. Unlike muscle, blood or nerve cells, stem cells can proliferate many times. When exposed to ideal conditions in the laboratory, a relatively small sample of stem cells can eventually yield millions of cells.

There are five primary types of stem cells: totipotent early embryonic cells (which can differentiate into any kind of human cell); pluripotent blastocyst embryonic stem cells, which are found in an embryo seven days after fertilization and can become almost any kind of cell in the body; fetal stem cells, which appear after the eighth week of development; multipotent umbilical cord stem cells, which can only differentiate into a limited number of cell types; and unspecialized adult stem cells, which exist in already developed tissue (commonly nerves, blood, skin, bone and muscle) of any person after birth.

tissue-cell-2012-2018

Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S520, “Tissue Engineering & Cell Therapy Worldwide 2009-2018.”

Developmental Timescales

Tissue engineering and cellular therapy products take years of research and many millions of dollars (averaging about $300 million, according to some reports) before they make it over the hurdles of clinical trials and into actual market launch. More than one small biotech company has burned through its money too quickly and been unable to attract enough investment to keep the doors open. The large pharmaceutical and medical device companies are watching development carefully, and have frequently made deals or entered into alliances with the biotechs, but they have learned to be cautious about footing the bill for development of a product that, in the end, may never sell.

For many of the products in development, product launch is likely to occur within five years. Exceptions include skin and certain bone and cartilage products, which are already on the market. Other products are likely to appear on the European market before launch in the United States, due to the presence of (so far) less stringent product review and approval laws in the European Union.

Even when the products are launched, take-up will be far from 100% of all patients with that particular condition. Initially, tissue engineering and cell therapy products will go to patients suffering from cancers and other life-threatening conditions, who, for example, are unable to wait any longer for a donor organ. Patients who seem to be near the end of their natural lives likely will not receive these treatments. Insurance coverage will certainly play a key role as well in the decision about who receives which treatments and when. But most importantly, physicians will be selecting who among their patients will be treated; the physicians learn about the treatments by using them, by observing the patient’s reactions, and by discussing their experiences with colleagues. In other words, the application of tissue engineering and cellular therapy will progress in a manner similar to the introduction of any new technology: through generally conservative usage by skilled, highly trained physicians dedicated to providing their patients with the best possible treatment without causing them additional harm.

 

Posted via email from medmarket’s posterous

Medical technology platforms with high growth potential

Specific technologies and broad technology platforms have tremendous potential for market growth based on combinations of recent technology advancement, changes in clinical practice, current forces in the market and other criterial. 

  • Biotech solutions to traditional medical device technologies.  The thrust of medical technology is, and has been for a long time, to make it as effective as possible while being the least possible invasive.  Taken to the extreme, instead of implanting a device, such as a suture or a staple, the almost perfect solution would to be to close wounds with no device at all.  Hence, surgical sealants, fibrin glues and other medical/surgical adhesives, hemostats and related biologicals (and even non-biologicals like cyanoacrylates), having proven themselves clinically and offering very low adoption hurdles, represent a huge opportunity in the medtech market.
     
  • Ablation and other high energy technologies.  What used to be handled by scalpel when my father did general surgery, is now increasingly being accomplished using energy-driven modalities that provide other tissue effects that a sharp metal blade alone could never do.  These technologies are therefore growing in both the penetration of traditional surgical procedures and their expansion to new clinical applications.
     
  • Nanotech and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).  It is actually a gross oversimplification to use a word like "nanotech" and imply that you are talking about one type of technology.  The only thing common to nanotech is size; every manner of material, construction, function and clinical benefit is part of this area.  The pace of development is striking.
     
  • Drug-device hybrids.  Just a few of the applications of combining drugs and devices in a single device include localized drug-delivery that avoids toxic, systemic dosages and vastly improved biocompatibility of existing devices. These two options alone represent multiple enormous markets.  Now, naked metal (or other) implants seem almost barbaric.
     
  • Bioresorbable materials.   Polymer and other materials technologies are enabling the development of implants and other devices that conveniently go away when they are no longer needed.  Already a significant market force in areas like bone growth in orthopedics, bioresorbable stents and other implants are proving their worth in cardiology and urology. 
     
  • Atherosclerotic plaque-reversing drugs.  When Pfizer divested itself of Esperion Therapeutics, it did not bode the end of this striking new drug approach to atherosclerosis, it simply illustrated the persistent challenge of drug development.  Here, it should be kept in mind that, the bigger the potential payout, based on huge clinical need (e.g., drug solution to the device intensive treatment of coronary artery disease), the more likely it is only a matter of time before the product reaches the market.  The jury is out on the "when" part, not the "if".
     
  • Rational therapeutics.  This is the holy grail thinking behind the development of many, many biotech products.  If one can develop a cure — a direct resolution of the underlying biological defect or deficiency in disease — and not just the symptoms, then one has changed the market in paradigm ways.  The hurdle and the payoffs are huge.
     
  • Tissue engineering technologies.  We have begun to be able to develop tissue engineered organs of increasing complexity — skin, bladders and rudimentary pancreases — and the benefits of these are in applications too numerous to mention..
     
  • RFID.  There is little, really, that is sophisticated about radiofrequency identification devices,  but their rapid integration into medical technologies of a wide range (tagging surgical instruments so they don’t get left behind, implants that enable external identification or even status, other types) will extend the utility and value of medical devices.
     
  • Noninvasive glucose monitoring.  Optimizing care for diabetes means, at a minimum, very frequent (5-10) checks per day of blood glucose.  This many finger pricks per year by the total number of diabetics globally (a rapidly growing number at that) who clearly would benefit from noninvasive monitoring reveals the value of this opportunity.  Capturing that opportunity means the combined success of both technology and cost.
     
  • Infection control.  This area is a top area, not for the sigificant technologies that have been developed, but the enormous demand for them.  Between rapidly emerging problems like methicillin-resistant staph aureus (MRSA), the resurgence of tuberculosis, the enormous costs of nosocomial infections and other infection-related challenges, infection control is an enormous, global opportunity.
     
  • Spine surgery.   The nature of the human spine, constructed of bone that needs to be both flexible and strong, demands device-intensive solutions.  The growing patient population of active, older adults is ratcheting the pressure on technologies to be less invasive, provide greater range of motion, last longer, cost less — all of which drives innovation in spine surgical technologies.
     
  • Obesity treatment technologies.  Technology solutions to the increasingly prevalant problem of obesity are imperfect, but still are frequently better solutions for the obese than an alternative that may ultimately also encompass heart disease, diabetes, stroke and other problems.  Diverse drug and device alternatives have been developed and the trend in obesity incidence will simply drive their continued development. 

Other forces are at work driving the above technologieis including, of course, cost containment, the integration of information technologies in both medical product and development process and the globalized economy.

(While the above list  is separately a White Paper that I have written, and periodically re-write to reflect new stuff being developed, I find it interesting and worthwhile to revisit frequently and discuss in this blog.)


The above topics are covered in various MedMarket Diligence reports.  See our list of titles.

 

 

 

Worldwide ophthalmic products (cataract, refractive, pharma, diagnostic, eye care) market

Although a fair amount of consolidation has taken place among ophthalmology technology companies in the last half decade, a number of entrepreneurial firms have surfaced with promising innovations that will keep the specialty vibrant with possibility. The company profiles include reference to the acquisitions taking place at some of the sector’s largest firms as well as the early stage developments that are taking place behind the scenes at venture capital backed companies.

In addition to the large and the small, many of the mid-sized companies that support the ophthalmologist continue to iterate and refine essential tools that will make surgical interventions faster, easier, more accurate and more affordable.

The ophthalmic medical device market can be organized into three major segments; (1) Diagnostics, which includes hand-held office-based diagnostic instruments, (2) Cataract surgery products including intra-ocular lenses, viscoelastics and phacoemulsification systems, and (3) Refractive surgery products – Excimer and Femtosecond lasers, microkeratomes and usage-based procedure cards. In addition to devices, the ophthalmic market includes pharmaceuticals and eye care products such as contact lenses and solutions.

The worldwide ophthalmic products market exceeds $22 billion (US) and is growing at more than 10% per year. Without the inclusion of consumer eye care products, the ophthalmic products market is roughly a $17 billion market.

Worldwide Ophthalmology Market by Segment

ophthalmology

Source: MedMarket Dilgience, LL; Report #G125, "Products, Technologies, Markets and Opportunities in
Ophthalmology Surgical, Diagnostic, Device and Drug Markets Worldwide, Forecasts 2004-2012".

 

Trends and drivers (continued) in medical technology

 More medtech trends

  • Nanotechnology advances.  The use of nanotechnology in medicine has faced as many overblown promises as any other application of nanotechnology. However, any realistic view of future medical technologies with big impact would be amiss if it did not consider the myriad applications of "nanotechnology", which we place in quotes to denote that there is no one technology called nanotechnology.  Rather, nanotechnology emcompasses a huge variation of technologies whose common denominator is only their design, manufacture or effects at a very small size.  Drug delivery, coatings technologies, angiogenesis and countless other unrelated technologies fall within the definition of nanotechnology.  Some, or many, may succeed hugely.
     
  • Developments in tissue engineering.  Setting aside, for the moment, the heated vitriol of the (current)  federal ban on funding for embrionic stem cell research, the continued developmet of cell biology applied to therapeutics in the broader category of cell and tissue engineering is a major trend that is creating new therapeutics.  Wound management, trauma treatments, organ repair/reconstruction, and others are established, rapidly growing markets.  Now, add back stem cell therapy (embrionic or otherwise) and you can see the enormity of this trend.
     
  • Gene therapy developments.  Forever an area of enormous potential, exceeded only by the overblown assessments of how soon developments will be commercialized, gene therapy developments continue to inch closer to reality.  While these technologies, too numerous in their diversity to mention, remain predominantly in the realm of research, the potential they hold and the rate of technology advance toward realizing that potential in virtually every organ system and clinical applications makes ignoring them a foolhardy consideration by any medtech manufacturer.
     

To be continued…

 

 

 

Ophthalmology device, drug and diagnostic segments worldwide

This is in response to several requests for additional detail on the ophthalmology market (including by one job seeker!). The worldwide ophthalmology market, comprised of many different device, drug and diagnostic segments spanning vision correction and various eye diseases, is a robust market with good growth expected despite the prevailing challenges in the economy.

Although a fair amount of consolidation has taken place among ophthalmology technology companies in the last half decade, a number of entrepreneurial firms have surfaced with promising innovations that will keep the specialty vibrant with possibility. The company profile (in Report #G125) include reference to the acquisitions taking place at some of the sector’s largest firms as well as the early stage developments that are taking place behind the scenes at venture capital backed companies.

In addition to the large and the small, many of the mid-sized companies that support the ophthalmologist continue to iterate and refine essential tools that will make surgical interventions faster, easier, more accurate and more affordable.

The ophthalmic medical device market can be organized into three major segments; (1) Diagnostics, which includes hand-held office-based diagnostic instruments, (2) Cataract surgery products including intra-ocular lenses, viscoelastics and phacoemulsification systems, and (3) Refractive surgery products – Excimer and Femtosecond lasers, microkeratomes and usage-based procedure cards. In addition to devices, the ophthalmic market includes pharmaceuticals and eye care products such as contact lenses and solutions.

The worldwide ophthalmic products market exceeds $22 billion (US) and is growing at more than 10% per year. Without the inclusion of consumer eye care products, the ophthalmic products market approximates $17 billion in 2006.

 

Source: "Products, Technologies, Markets and Opportunities in Ophthalmology Surgical, Device and Drug Markets Worldwide, 2007," Report #G125, MedMarket Diligence.

Cataract Surgery Market Expanding, Becoming More Competitive

Cataract revenues by manufacturer, Americas
Source: MedMarket Diligence report #G125, "Worldwide Ophthalmology."

Advances in intraocular lenses have made it possible for phakic intraocular lenses (PIOLs) to compete at some level with refractive surgery.   Further advances in materials and implant technologies are making it possible to achieve clear vision at multiple focal points with multifocal and accommodating lenses.  Innovations in this segment have created significant opportunities for new entrants and have begun to challenge long time market leaders in IOLs.

About one third of practicing ophthalmologists perform cataract surgery, making it the most commonly performed ophthalmic surgical procedure in the world.  And until recently, the placement of IOLs was a well defined surgical technique that began with removing the patient’s clouded native lens and ended with the insertion of a synthetic lens to restore vision.  Remaining visual aberrations were corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses and follow-on care was principally the domain of the optometrist.

With the advent of refractive surgery and PIOLs, however, there are more options than ever before for treating vision disorders after cataract surgery.  Today, residual vision aberrations can be managed with traditional eyewear or lenses or refractive surgery.  The availability of new therapies has the potential to redefine how optometrists think about partnerships with ophthalmologists and to critically evaluate the kind of services that they make available to their patients.


From Report #G125, “Products, Technologies, Markets and Opportunities in Ophthalmology Surgical, Device and Drug Markets Worldwide, 2007.” See link for details or order online.

Medical Technology Market Analysis, MedMarkets (April 2008)

Below is the coverage in the April 2008 issue of MedMarkets.

Ablation:  An Energized Market

Demand for Hip and Knee Implants Expected to Increase

MedMarket Outlook: Beyond Technology Innovation: Current and Future Market Forces and Trends

Early Stage Companies: Evalve, ES Vascular, Cardiorobotics, TriVascular

Early Stage Company Financings: Alure Medical, Arbel Medical, Breathe Technologies, CoAxia, IDev Technologies, IlluminOss Medical, Lanx, Pathway Medical Technologies, Tryton Medical

Recent Medtech Startups

Biotechnology Update: Self-Assembling Nanofibers Show Promise for Spinal Cord Injury

Drivers: Sluggish Economy Slows Venture Capital Market

Leading Clinical Edge
Nanovalve Useful for Drug Delivery
Molecular Machine Serves as Remote Control
Progress Made on Biosensing Nanodevice
Mutant Proteins Stimulate Heart Cell Growth
Specialized MRI Identifies Brain Cancer Early
New Therapy for Pediatric Retinoblastoma
Eye Drops Monitor Brain Tissue Repair
Nanoengineered Gel for Spinal Cord Injury
Cell-Sorting System May Detect Cancer

Developments
FDA Approves OrNim’s Monitoring Device
Study Challenges Aspect Medical’s Device
Kinetic Concepts to Acquire LifeCell
Promising Results for Evalve’s MitraClip
U.S. Patient Receives CardioKinetix Heart Implant
Medtronic Improves Talent Stent Graft
FDA Reports Medtronic AneuRx Deaths
Medtronic CRT Clinical Trial Fails
Positive Results for Echo Therapeutics’ Symphony
Abbott’s Glucose Monitor Approved
Datascope to Sell Business to Mindray
Philips Completes Respironics Acquisition
ArthroCare’s Ablation Device Successful
Benefits from Genzyme’s Carticel Sustained
J&J Considers Design Changes for Charité
LifeNet Health Launches Cervical Implant
BioMimetic Refutes FDA Comments
AngioDynamics to Buy Diomed

Complete content available to subscribers only.  For coverage in all past issue of MedMarkets, see link.

See Reports from MedMarket Diligence.

“High Growth Medical Technologies” 2008

We have just updated our “High Growth Medical Technologies” white paper, as we expect to continually do in the immediate future, since the areas with growth keep changing, and new areas keep appearing.

As all white papers should be, it’s free.  Here’s the link so you can download it.