Start-Up Previews (05/2009)
A preview of the emerging health care companies profiled in the current issue of Start-Up. This month's profile group, "Medical Dermatology Gets Under VCs' Skin," features profiles of Garnet Biotherapeutics, Medimetriks and Topica Pharmaceuticals. Plus these Start-Ups Across Health Care: Carolus Therapeutics, Forma Therapeutics, NovaLign Orthopaedics, OmegaGenesis and PercSys.
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Not much has changed over the past quarter century in surgically treating long-bone fractures of the humerus, tibia and the femur. Typically, these fixation procedures involve the insertion of an intramedullary nail through an adjacent joint and down the center of the injured bone. But a new method to treat long-bone fractures developed by NovaLign Orthopaedics avoids the need to involve an adjacent joint. Its IM fixation system offers a less invasive surgical technique, while providing comparable structural integrity of more traditional devices, according to the company. The key is a device that operates in both a flexible and rigid mode through a small entry point outside the joint capsule.
Stone disease is among the most painful and prevalent of urologic disorders, affecting more than 5% of the US population. The most common intervention for kidney and ureteral stones involves manipulation, irrigation and fragmentation through an endoscope. However, such procedures may cause the stone itself or stone fragments to migrate within the urinary tract. Current devices to reduce migration are difficult to place and remove, and they do not adequately conform to the ureter. These products also do not provide a fluid-tight seal. In contrast, the PercSys Accordion stone management device from Percutaneous Systems (PercSys) effectively eliminates stone migration and facilitates fragment removal. The microcatheter system forms an occlusion in the ureter to prevent stone migration, has been shown to increase fragmentation efficiency, and has demonstrated its ability to sweep multiple fragments.
Go with what you know. This familiar adage is plainly influencing the strategy of Medimetriks Pharmaceuticals, a dermatology-products start-up now being managed by key team members from the former Bradley Pharmaceuticals. The firm says it is already cash-flow positive, on the strength of a portfolio that was assembled in just six months or so. Medimetriks' business strategy is a straightforward specialty pharma marketing scheme: the plan is to quickly build the company on the back of products that are familiar to specialized physicians that management can reach with small sales forces.