Medical Device and In Vitro Diagnostics/Research Deal Statistics Quarterly, Q2 2008
Highlights from the Q2 2008 review of device and diagnostics dealmaking: financing for medical device firms was down 9% from the first quarter to $838mm, which consisted mainly of late-stage venture rounds at 43% of the total. Big Pharma was surprisingly active in device acquisitions, with Novartis buying 25% of surgical instruments maker Alcon, and BMS selling off ConvaTec to private equity as part of its "string of pearls" strategy to focus on biotech. Two FOPOs dominated the $300mm financing the IVD/Research industry, while Invitrogen's $6.4bn stock swap for Applera's Applied Biosystems represented 90% of the M&A dollar volume.
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It looks like the biggest strategic gulf in the industry: focus or diversify? If the CEO thinks he can't rely on R&D to grow his way out of the industry's revenue hole, get ready to live alongside generics and OTC businesses--though he'll downplay to investors the risks of managing different businesses by stressing the commonalities with the core branded efforts and probably won't move into wholly non-pharma businesses. If he's still committed to R&D--get ready for diversification of other sorts, and some pretty clever financial tactics.
A growing number of medical device companies that managed to go public over the past few years are finding their market capitalizations slipping away.
The atrial fibrillation market has attracted the attention of a large number of established and emerging cardiovascular device companies over the past several years, all hoping to cash in on the huge demand for a simple, safe, and effective therapy that can permanently cure this common, and often debilitating, heart arrhythmia. Most of the research to date has focused on energy-based methods both surgical and percutaneous - to destroy aberrant electrical triggers in the heart that are believed to initiate and perpetuate AF. But no one has yet received FDA approval for a catheter-based ablation tool, a milestone that is widely recognized as key to full penetration of this market. To be sure, they have come close. But obtaining an FDA indication for the more complex AF ablation procedure has proven a much more difficult goal.