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Thriving When the Device IPO Window Closes

Executive Summary

This article is excerpted from a feature of the same title appearing in In Vivo, July/August 2008.

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The Medical Device Industry's Robust Times: Are They Sustainable?

Notwithstanding an occasional blip, the environment for medical device companies has never been stronger, with robust technology development, company creation rewarded with high levels of private and venture investment, and strong M&A activity all supporting a business model that was born out of the doldrums that device companies found themselves in a decade ago. Still, there are pressures that are straining the current model and raising legitimate concerns, including physician conflict-of-interest charges; regulatory pathways that are trickier and a climate of evidence-based medicine that leads to longer, more expensive trials; and a robust M&A environment that is sustainable only if a next-generation of acquiring companies steps up. Part one of a two-part series.

The Medical Device Industry's Robust Times: Are They Sustainable?

Notwithstanding an occasional blip, the environment for medical device companies has never been stronger, with robust technology development, company creation rewarded with high levels of private and venture investment, and strong M&A activity all supporting a business model that was born out of the doldrums that device companies found themselves in a decade ago. Still, there are pressures that are straining the current model and raising legitimate concerns, including physician conflict-of-interest charges; regulatory pathways that are trickier and a climate of evidence-based medicine that leads to longer, more expensive trials; and a robust M&A environment that is sustainable only if a next-generation of acquiring companies steps up. Part one of a two-part series.

Thermage/Reliant: Evidence of Tightening in the Aesthetics Market

The aesthetics industry is becoming increasingly competitive and there are very few intellectual property barriers to entry; as soon as one company develops a new wrinkle-reducing device, it's not long before others come up with something that sounds similar. Sales and marketing account for the biggest costs of medical aesthetic companies, and because a number of the newer one-product companies now find themselves bumping into their competitors in physicians' offices and at trade shows, consolidation in the industry appears to be in order. In this challenging environment, the recent merger of skin tightening company Thermage with skin resurfacing firm Reliant is designed to create a stronger competitor.

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