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Conceptus' Re-Birth: Surviving in Women's Health

Executive Summary

The early-to-mid 1990s marked the rise of a huge wave of interest in women's health among device start-ups and investors. Several women's health companies, including Conceptus, were among the ill-fated IPO Class of 1996 that largely failed to meet investor expectations. Most of these start-ups are no longer around, but Conceptus re-trenched and shifted its emphasis from fertility to a new approach to sterilization, which finally received FDA clearance late last year. The company has survived the pitfalls that derailed other women's health start-ups, most notably a customer group that is difficult to access and slow to adopt new technology, and a challenging reimbursement environment, but in doing so, may be the exception that proves the rule.
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