In the world of medical devices, holding on to proprietary technology often means going to the trenches. The industry's top companies sue one another for patent infringement, hoping to stymie their competition and win damages that pad their bottom line. Sometimes, battles are easily won without extensive legal proceedings. But in most cases, the courtroom drama spans countless hours as devicemakers appeal to obtain a favorable verdict.
This year is no exception to the rule, as med tech giants such as Johnson & Johnson, Medtronic and Boston Scientific faced a slew of patent battles, some of which have been years in the making. J&J's Ethicon unit warded off patent-infringement accusations from Irish device giant Covidien, fighting hard to keep its ultrasonic surgical product on the market. The device giant also scored a temporary win when Stryker dismissed its DePuy subsidiary from a patent-infringement suit over hip-implant technology.
Researchers hope that a new implantable device that encapsulates and nurtures pancreatic beta cells will provide sufficient insulin to Type 1 diabetes patients. The first patient in an 8-patient clinical trial has already been implanted with the device, the βAir Bio-Artificial Pancreas from Israeli startup Beta-O2.
The startup expects that the device will address three primary obstacles for a bio-artificial pancreas implant: avoiding rejection without a lifetime of immunosuppressive drugs, providing sufficient oxygen to the pancreatic cells to keep them functioning well and offering sufficient quantities of insulin to the patient.
We've picked the best and the brightest in all corners of the med tech industry including major companies, startups, venture capital, industry advocates and academics. We've chosen women who represent some of the major shifts and trends within the industry such as the ever-growing consumer orientation of healthcare, the advent of cheaper, easier personalized diagnostics, the use of diagnostics to inform preventative healthcare decisions and the increasing integration of wireless technology into medical devices.
POPULAR COMMENT THREADS
FierceMedicalDevices caught up with Covidien Chief Medical Officer Dr. Michael Tarnoff at the annual AdvaMed conference in Chicago at the beginning of October. Tarnoff also performs minimally invasive and bariatric surgery part-time at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.
U.K.-based Enigma Diagnostics inked a deal with a Chinese biotech outfit and roped in $50 million to support development of its innovative molecular diagnostic system and gain headway in the country's rapidly growing med tech market.
The race to the noninvasive glucose monitor is apparently passé. Right now it's all about getting glucose level data on mobile devices as well as enabling easy analysis and sharing of the data. That's what the wireless glucose monitor from Telcare does. For its efforts, Telcare got a $32.5 million Series C round.
Med merger mania is leaving no stone unturned, even sterilization services. On the heels of Steris's bid for Britain's Synergy Health in another inversion deal, private equity firm GTCR is looking to unload Sterigenics International, another sterilization company, for $1.5 billion, including debt.
Boston Scientific expects an FDA approval of its controversial stroke-fighting device Watchman during the first half of next year coming off its third positive FDA panel, despite a checkered regulatory past that includes a 2010 rejection due to safety concerns.
Amid growing industry concern over the cybersecurity of medical devices, the U.S. government is weighing in on the issue and investigating two dozen cases of suspected cybersecurity flaws in devices and hospital equipment.
From Our Sister Sites
Johnson & Johnson is expanding its network of biopharma incubators, taking to Texas with a plan to host as many as 50 local biotech startups.
The busy partners at Atlas Venture have gathered together a $17 million Series A for their latest biotech creation: Quartet Medicine, which pairs together two scientific founders who have been...