Dear Friends of OCTANe -
We held our seventh annual MDIF at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine, Calif. on October 10th and 11th. Every year, the conference brings influencers in the industry together to share information and best practices that are important to the medical device community. This year, there was no shortage of high-impact, timely themes to discuss.
With the upcoming elections looming large and investors and businesses keeping a close eye on the economy’s improvement, there’s never been a more important time to bring the industry together to discuss our accomplishments, where we can improve and how we beat a successful path forward.
One of the reasons that the medical device industry is so compelling is that it straddles science and emotion—medical devices are good business, but significantly, they are the business of saving lives. That duality was fully represented at MDIF from the opening plenary, which featured John Babitt who presented Ernst & Young’s analysis of the medtech industry’s financial performance during the past year, alongside Hollywood producer
Simon Lewis. Lewis told his emotional story of how medical devices not only saved his life, but also his quality of life as he describes in his book Rise and Shine.
Throughout the two-day event, as the election draws ever nearer, many presenters offered insight about the landscape in Washington. We were honored to have Rep. Erik Paulsen, co-chair of the Congressional Medical Technology Caucus, address efforts to repeal the medical device tax and ensure FDA accountability. Robert Grant, chairman of OCTANe’s board, encouraged medical device companies to get involved in the political process saying, “If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.” Many presenters offered perspectives on just that theme, including:
- Dr. Joshua Makower, founder of ExploraMed Development, highlighted improvements at the FDA following MDUFA III
- Craig Calliger of City National Bank, Jeffrey Kimbell of Jeffrey J. Kimbell & Associates, Mark Leahy of MDMA and James Mazzo of Abbott Medical Optics presented their perspectives during a panel on the 2012 Presidential election
The realities in Washington and the current state of the economy also impact the business side of the medical device industry. As many startup companies struggle to secure funding while pushing their device through often lengthy FDA approvals, industry leaders and companies alike shared their strategies for funding lifesaving technology and eventually achieving profitable exits. OCTANe supported these efforts with investment presentations from exciting emerging companies and a VC speed dating session.
Attendees also heard valuable advice from:
- Allergan, David Diamond of MannKind Corporation, Mike Hedge of K&L Gates, Tom McCarthy of Mindframe and Michael Nagel of Vomaris Innovations led a panel discussion on international strategies Rich Cappetta of MicroVention, Deborah Condino of
- Jim Corbett of Vertos Medical, Tim Nugent of KPMG Advisory, Judy Rosenbloom of JR Associates and Dean Samsvick of KPMG hosted a panel on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement commercialization strategies
- David Allen of K&L Gates, Ray Cohen of Vessix Vascular, Mike Hedge of K&L Gates, J.P. Peltier of Piper Jaffray and Anthony Sine of Bausch + Lomb discussed medical device exits in a panel entitles “Beyond Mergers and Acquisitions”
- Ginger Clasby of Transcend Medical, Haio Fauser of Medeuronet/AcroMIS, Kristine Morrill of Medeuronet and Jason Tester of AcuFocus offered perspectives on the pathway to successful commercialization in Europe
- Todd Davis of HealthCare Royalty Partners, Thomas Fogarty of the Fogarty Foundation for Innovation, Jeff Gold of Velomedix and Noboru Ohrui of Mitsubishi presented global investment strategies.
And of course, we didn’t forget about the life changing technologies that all of these political activities and investments aim to bolster and bring to market. Seventy-nine year-young Connie Alexander stole the show as she joined Edwards Lifesciences CEO Michael Mussallem to discuss her SAPIEN heart valve transplant (and her hair appointment a few days later). Dr. Roger F. Steinert discussed the groundbreaking work being done at UC: Irvine’s Gavin Herbert Eye Institute alongside William Link of Versant Ventures and Covidien’s Stacy Enxing Seng and Brett Wall shared their exciting neurovascular technologies as well as why they’re proud to call Orange County home.
The year to come promises to bring a lot of change for the medical device industry, but I’m confident that the theme of this year’s forum will hold true: with change comes opportunity. On behalf of everyone here at OCTANe, I’d like to thank all of the speakers, panelists and participants who helped make this event a success. We’re wishing all of you a year full of exciting opportunities.
President & CEO