Last year’s Innovation Showcase was divided into six categories to give financial, structural and entrepreneurial advice to small, independent and emerging companies in the vascular and endovascular sector.
The ‘Making Innovation Happen’ session opened with Peter Hinchliffe of Datascope, giving his company’s perspective of innovation. Hinchliffe discussed public company and customer needs and what makes a new product successful – uniqueness of design and/or approach, simplicity of design and a smooth regulatory pathway.
Geoffrey White from the Department of Vascular Surgery, University of Sydney, Australia, discussed the four steps of innovation in his presentation titled ‘Making Innovation Happen: Inventors Perspective’. Dr Juan Parodi, St Louis, USA, discussed medical device regulations and their effects on early stage companies in his presentation ‘The importance of observation in Innovation’. He began by discussing his own experiences with his groundbreaking Parodi Endograft and went on to give a series of suggestions, beginning with obtaining intellectual property protection with a first class patent attorney. He advised that big companies are, in general, not good to develop new products with as they can be slow and inefficient at developing ideas internally. The dynamics of small companies, in comparison, allow expedite developments and compliance with regulations.
Stuart Rodger, Director and Vice President – Clinical Affairs at Vascutek, gave a lively presentation on ‘Clinical Trials and Device Approval Strategies’, telling delegates that any clinical study would always “take longer than you thought, cost you more than you budgeted and make you wonder why you ever started it in the first place”. .
Dr Bridget Matthews from the Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Centre of Industrial Collaboration, Leeds, discussed whether clinical input was the missing link in launching new medical devices. In her introduction she talked about how industry has too little input from clinicians, and that while large companies may have access to clinicians and clinical advisory boards, this was a luxury for small companies. She discussed the Statement of Clinical Need initiative, which allows practicing clinicians to present their experience and knowledge to the medical device community through new media and internet.
In the ‘Developing winning products’ session Helen Ryan of Creganna Medical Devices discussed innovative delivery device design solutions while Peter Shaw of Corporate Edge presented on the value of branding. The ‘Becoming an Entrepreneur’ session featured Alan Edwards, former chief executive officer of Credent, drawing on his own experiences in his presentation on how to become a successful entrepreneur. The ‘Endgame’ session featured Chas Taylor, former chief executive officer of MedNova and advisor to Schroders on exiting your start-up company.
The Forum closed with the ‘New Technology Session’, which featured Jody Brown of Dialog Devices on non-invasive peripheral vascular disease assessment. Brown discussed the potential impact of Dialog Devices’ PADD medical device on the diagnosis of non-invasive peripheral vascular disease. Brown discussed the advantages of PADD over the current form of assessment, Ankle Brachial Pressure Index (ABPI), and presented the company’s perspective of taking on and marketing the PADD device.