The event stage was set by Tom Salemi, Content Director at Healthegy, Inc., in his opening remarks. Although he said it while speaking about the host city, his sentiment could equally be applied to the entire day: ‘This is the place where I really feel medtech is a part of the fabric of the area.’ The ‘fabric,’ he implied, is resistant to forces that threaten to tear it apart. For whilst funding from VC sources may be down in the short term – this change is bringing with it some necessary disruption, introspection and deliberate thinking – and in many ways, a more positive outlook.
Joe Almeida, Chairman & CEO at Baxter International: ‘If you do it, do it always the best way you can. It’s not about what you did in the past. It’s what you learned in the past and what you’ll do in the future.’
Kevin Hykes, Operating Partner at Versant Ventures/Chairman & CEO at Metavention: ‘In my mind, although these headwinds are daunting at times, the fundamentals that drive demands for the things we do are intact and unassailable. Number one, the demographic bubble has created an ever-growing pool of people who need what we do and benefit from improvements in medical technology. Second, the opportunities in the developing markets are massive and largely untapped. Third, there are huge opportunities to improve the management of chronic disease and, in doing so, improve the quality of life of patients who suffer from those conditions and save the healthcare industry billions of dollars.’
Michael Mahoney, Chairman & CEO at Boston Scientific: ‘When I joined [Boston Scientific], I was committed for the long term. So, the first thing we did, we literally looked at it as a startup and we started over. We actually talked. We had very candid conversations and we encouraged our team to take risks. We [created] a culture that didn’t punish people for making bad decisions.’
William Maisel, MD, Deputy Director for Science and Chief Scientist at FDA/CDRH: ‘We really set out to change the philosophy of our organisation. We also focused on customer service. We want our staff to be interactive. We want them to answer your questions. When they’re reviewing your file and they have a question, we don’t want them to wait 60 more days and send you a letter. We want them to pick up the phone and call you, or send you an email, and resolve it interactively.’
Todd Berg, Co-Founder, President & CEO at Torax Medical: ‘You develop a relationship with that [FDA] reviewer and the continuity becomes critical. They actually become experts in your product. And they are able to become internal advocates at the FDA.’
Andrew Cleeland, CEO at Fogarty Institute / VP & General Manager at Medtronic TVVR Venture: ‘We interact on a weekly basis with our [FDA] review team. We’re now working with them on a pivotal trial design and that process has been, again, remarkably interactive all the way through. We want to congratulate you on what you’ve been able to accomplish. My experience there has been remarkable, and my advice to anybody in the room is to interact early and interact often with FDA. Take the risk…it’s worth it.’
Mark Deem, Venture Partner at Lighthouse Ventures / Managing Partner – The Foundry: ‘It’s no secret that the market has changed dramatically. The number of investors has gone down. I don’t necessarily think that’s an unhealthy thing for the ecosystem though. … For those companies that can finance and survive, I think that the possibilities for successful outcomes are quite good.’
Bonnie Handke, VP, Health Economics, Policy & Payment at Medtronic: ‘Today, it is recognised that you should focus on the early stage and what the economic impacts will be, and then determine if you need to change your path.’
Andrew Weiss, President & CEO at ReCor Medical: “When you look at the macro standpoint, there’s never been a time when there’s been more technology, more wealth, more fast access to markets, I would argue, for medical device innovations that make a difference in patient healthcare.”
Innovate UK is to invest up to £19 million to support innovation that offers significant changes in productivity, and cutting-edge innovation. This includes health and life sciences projects, and emerging and enabling technologies projects. There will be a further £12 million for Knowledge Transfer Networks, too.
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