Posts Tagged ‘life sciences’



Congratulations to Withings!

January 22nd, 2016
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Congratulations to our client, Withings, for being honored with the 2016 CES Innovation Awards in two categories, as well as being given the ‘Best of CES’ Awards from many major publications. Withings hit the press jackpot with their two latest innovations:
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Final Steps in Creating Strategic Partnerships—Contacting and Contracting

November 19th, 2013
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This is Part 4 and the last in a series of blog posts on best partnering practices for life sciences and health tech companies. Read the previous posts in the series for Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.
 
In our previous post on partnering steps, I outlined the creation of a matrix of potential business partners that reflects a well thought out process of evaluating your company’s and your potential partner’s strengths, weaknesses and interests. In this post, I’ll talk about initiating contact and structuring an agreement.
 
The initial approach to a potential partner is most often determined by the extent to which a personal relationship exists between you (or your advisor) and a decision-maker at that company. Where there is a personal relationship, a relatively informal approach can often be used to quickly determine interest in an exploratory meeting. Without a personal connection, a more formal approach is called for, with written queries and a more structured method. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Digital Health the Key to Bringing Control to Drug Costs?

October 1st, 2013
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A recent article in Forbes by Matthew Herper points to one of the most significant opportunities for innovation in medicine – drug development costs. Herper estimated that a single drug can cost $5 billion to discover and develop – five times the conventional wisdom, which has long settled on $1 billion as the average cost to create a new drug.
 
The fact that drug development is expensive is, of course, well known, and is why there is no easy solution to the problem of high – sometimes astronomical – prescription drug prices. When looking at total healthcare costs, it is worth noting that there are many drivers in addition to drug costs. Vlogger John Green, in a widely circulated video last week, argues that every input in healthcare is too expensive. And, according to Susan Desmond-Hellmann, chancellor of UCSF, these cost increases are “not sustainable.” But certainly, prescription drug costs are a significant part of the problem. Separate from these arguments, pharmaceutical companies are often criticized for new treatments that are extraordinarily expensive (the CF drug Kalydeco at a cost of $294,000 per year is a recent example) and for the fact that many charge higher prices in the U.S. than they do in other countries.
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Your Health is What You Drive: Digital Health in the Driver’s Seat

November 12th, 2012
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One of the most enjoyable aspects of my role at Popper and Company involves constantly surveying the global digital health ecosystem. Recently, I attended Dr. Leslie Saxon’s 6th annual USC Body Computing Conference (BCC).
 
While the conference offered a comprehensive overview of what’s trending in digital health (BCC never fails in this regard!), I was fascinated to see the evolution of biometric and other types of sensor-based monitoring in motor vehicles. While BMW Group (a new partner at the Center for Body Computing), was represented at the conference, Ford Motor Company is also aggressively pursuing ways to improve the driving experience and health of drivers and occupants alike. Here’s a brief rundown on the efforts of both automakers:
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What FDA’s Proposed Drug Testing Guidelines May Mean for You

July 15th, 2011
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This week, the FDA issued draft guidance for in vitro companion diagnostics. After a day or so of reflecting about it, here’s what I think it may mean for you:
 
Overall, while the guidance itself may not be BIG news, it does seem to make good sense for business and to offer life science companies some flexibility. Whether you are a therapeutics company or a diagnostics company, you should see new opportunities as a result.
 
Following are the key points I took away from my review of the guidance:

     

  • The FDA acknowledges that not all co-development of diagnostic tests and therapeutic drugs can occur simultaneously. Thus, there is room for you to secure approval of a drug before the test is available and also to seek to modify the drug’s label as new diagnostics information emerges. There is also room for you to potentially market an as yet uncleared or unapproved test, if the marketing of the test is critical in the context of a drug. Read the rest of this entry »

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Google’s Blind Date with Consumer Health

July 6th, 2011
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Even great athletes – like Rafael Nadal at this year’s Wimbledon Championships – suffer setbacks and losses at times. Thus, we shouldn’t be too hard on Google for the recent downfall of Google Health, although we may analyze it and look for lessons learned just as Rafael surely does after a losing match.
 
The Google Health downfall carries with it a long chain of assumptions: everything ranging from design clumsiness to the search engine giant’s inability to bring the medical community into its fold. MIT’s own Technology Review chalked up the failure to the nation’s broken medical system and a recent article in Mobihealthnews (“10 Reasons Why Google Failed”) outlined it so clearly that you could use it for study in a Business 101 class.
 
Putting all other missteps aside, I believe many companies veer off track in the earliest phases of product planning. Large corporations, by virtue of pure muscle, sometimes are further burdened when they think they can create a need where one simply doesn’t exist. In this case, Google miscalculated whose problem it was they were actually trying to address.
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Leveraging a Multi-Coastal Point of View of Life Sciences

May 17th, 2011
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Having a pulse on global trends in the biopharmaceutical industry requires a wide range of insights from experience in pharmacological research and technology development through to the core operations of large-scale and startup life science businesses. With this in mind, I’m pleased to welcome Dr. Andreas Muehler as our second strategic advisor. Dr. Muehler’s experience with preclinical and clinical development, major product launches, licensing, business development, and marketing provide him with a unique combination of technical and business perspectives.
 
In the United States, Dr. Muehler developed and managed multiple startup medical device and medical technology companies. Among them were 3TP LLC d/b/a CAD Sciences (White Plains, NY), a medical software company that was sold to iCAD Medical in 2008. Dr. Muehler was also President & CEO of MicroMRI Inc (Langhorne, PA), a medical device company that received FDA clearance for both hardware and software components during his tenure. Dr. Muehler has also been managing director of a German healthcare private equity fund, Palladius Healthcare GmbH in Munich, which acquired distressed medical device companies. Read the rest of Dr. Muehler’s impressive bio here.
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Tapping Personalized Health Care’s Potential

April 6th, 2011
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“Translating the knowledge we are gaining from gene discoveries into practical clinical and public health applications will be critical for realizing the potential of personalized health care and improving the health of the nation.”
 
— Muin J. Khoury, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Office of Public Health Genomics, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
 
There are several interesting and exciting developments in personalized health that extend well beyond clinical medicine and into areas of science, ethics, government policy and regulation, patient advocacy, and business.   In January of this year, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation published The Personalized Health Project—Identifying the gaps between discovery and application in the life sciences, and proposed solutions. This report provides insights from key thought leaders as to how far we have come, where there are gaps and barriers, and how far away we are from reaching the goal of implementing personalized health care solutions.
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TRI-CON – Diagnostics, Drug Discovery & Biologics: Oh My!

February 21st, 2011
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Sometimes, between the hotel room, the lectures, the networking, the power lunches and the data consumption at a conference, you’re on the plane home before you have time to reflect upon why you attended in the first place. I’m excited to be heading to the 18th International Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference in San Francisco this week—and I’m setting out my reasons for going this year beforehand.
 
I always look forward to this conference because of its balanced range of life science topics, including those with technical, scientific, business, strategy, regulatory and reimbursement slants. Within this balanced range of topics, the Tri-Con uses a channel structure to help attendees “tune in” where they can get the biggest bang for their buck. I’m excited to learn more about the following specifics within each channel: Read the rest of this entry »

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This Is Not Your Grandfather’s Big Diagnostics

February 7th, 2011
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Danaher Corporation (NYSE:DHR) announced today (see San Francisco Chronicle story here) that it has entered into an agreement with Beckman Coulter, Inc. (NYSE: BEC) to acquire Beckman for approximately $6.8 billion. When the acquisition is complete, Beckman will become part of Danaher’s Life Sciences and Diagnostics business segment.
 
This is yet another example of the diagnostics landscape’s rapid upheaval in which different players will clearly be dominating and leading the industry.
 
The diagnostics industry shake up is in full swing: As we wrote recently, sequencing technology (one critical part of the Dx space) is changing at an earth-shattering speed and today’s announcement is evidence of what is happening on the market level. Need more evidence? Check out this post by Xconomy’s Luke Timmerman on “diagnostics warming up.”
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