Goal setting: 4 advancements in medtech by April 2017

 In News

As we continue to ramp up preparations for the SEMDA 2017 annual conference in Atlanta – Innovation: Concept to Commercialization – we thought we would set some goals for the ecosystem as a whole. Here are a few advancements in medtech we would like to see happen by the time we gather together in Atlanta April 26 & 27, 2017.

1. Sustained, strong movement on the medical device tax repeal
We’re headed in the right direction on this one. As reported in multiple outlets, both houses of the U.S. Congress introduced legislation to permanently do away with the 2.3% excise tax on medical device. The tax had been suspended for 2 years in December 2015 through another bill sponsored by Representative Erik Paulsen (R-Minnesota), a co-sponsor of the new pending legislation.

Sarah Faulkner quoted Senator Orin Hatch (R-Utah) in her report for MassDevice, “Every dollar medical device manufacturers spend on this onerous tax is a dollar taken away from American innovation, job growth, and the ability to provide groundbreaking medical technologies to patients in need,” Hatch said after he introduced the bill 2 years ago. “Both Republicans and Democrats understand just how bad this tax really is, and we owe it to the American people to ensure the development of life-saving medical devices are not plagued by high-costs that will, ultimately, be passed on to patients. This is a common-sense bill, and I’m hopeful Congress will act swiftly to repeal this misguided tax once and for all.”

Advamed has a resourceful Medical Device Tax page here.

2. The founding members of GCMI’s accelerator introduced
In late 2016 our colleagues at GCMI, the Global Center for Medical Innovation, wrote, “In February of 2017, we hope to launch our very own medtech accelerator; acting as a sandbox for industry partners to observe high potential companies as they mature in a measured, milestone-stone driven manner. GCMI will apply resources, guidance, facilities and world-class accelerator tools. At the end of the 6-12 months in the accelerator, our partners will see a more mature company, a more “de-risked” medical device, and will have the opportunity to work with them further.

“GCMI levels the playing field for small medtech startups to get a toe hold, work through regulatory, make it to market and then scale. With their help, we were able to avoid millions of dollars in upfront costs.” – John O’Shaughnessy, Founder and CEO of Matrix Surgical USA

We can’t wait to hear who the first members of GCMI’s new accelerator are!

3. Evidence of increasing investment
2016 medtech investment numbers weren’t bad. They were nearly catastrophic. According to Evaluate, Ltd., there was a 20% decrease in venture investment in medtech companies across the board in the United States. The investment numbers In the southeast were even worse; 2015 saw $440.5 million invested through 38 deals, while 2016 saw an anemic $138.7 million invested in 35 deals. We suspected a downturn in investment was eminent, but the magnitude of this pullback is shocking.

What’s needed to reverse course and demonstrate evidence of increasing investment by the time we gather at SEMDA 2017 in May? This is a critical topic on which I will be gathering insights from colleagues across the industry. Stay tuned for 3 things our ecosystem needs to do right now to improve the investability in medtech startups and early growth stage companies.

4. Conference registrations from every state we reach
Our commitment to advancements in medtech and engaging the whole of the southeastern U.S. medtech ecosystem is as strong as ever. Evidence: the SEMDA PitchRounds Roadshow’s inaugural event is January 31st in Orlando! Regional winners will compete at the SEMDA annual conference in April for a cash prize of $10,000 and a slot to present at Advamed 2017 in San Jose. Are you or someone you know ready to pitch?!? http://semda.net/events/pitchrounds-road-show/

We are committed to ensuring every state in the southeast, from Kentucky to Florida and Texas to Virginia are represented at SEMDA 2017. Stay tuned for an announcement regarding The State of Southeast Medtech Innovation 2017: a SEMDA webinar featuring MassDevice, JNJ Innovations and GCMI.

Help us achieve these goals and continue to build a robust medtech ecosystem in the southeast by following SEMDA on LinkedIn and Twitter. And don’t forget to save the date for SEMDA 2017, April 26-27!