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MPM's Challenge: Investing the Largest Health Venture Fund

MPM has raised a $900 million fund. What's it going to spend it on in these troubled times, when valuations across all sectors of the life sciences industry are slipping? MPM plans to direct two-thirds of the fund to product and technology companies, and a third to applied platform firms. The fund will aim for an 80/20 between pharmaceuticals and devices. MPM is particularly keen to find quality-of-life investments for its portfolio. In the pharma sector, MPM may at times take a stripped-down approach to building companies, but it will also do some buy-outs and generally be prepared to invest more and support start-ups longer than VCs did historically.

BioPharmaceutical Medical Device

Hearing Aids: Innovators Must Change the Channel

Ten percentage of the population in industrialized companies could benefit from hearing aids, and since the market remains 80% unpenetrated, new hearing aid companies and their financial backers see an enormous opportunity. But the hearing industry presents unique challenges compared to other medical device markets; the poor performance of past devices keeps people from buying hearing aids, as does the lack of reimbursement. Profitability is difficult for manufacturers to achieve, because manufacturing of the custom devices doesn't benefit from economies of scale. Finally, small companies have a tough time getting past the gatekeepers of the hearing industry--audiologists who have entrenched relationships with dominant manufacturers. New companies are entering the market with widely different approaches, some based on technology, some based on changing distribution channels. For some, the new approaches have clearly failed; others are embarking on new strategies that have yet to play out.

Medical Device Leadership

Device IPOs Rebound

Start-Up compares step-up valuations in the recent spate of medical device IPOs to those of previous years.

Medical Device

Jomed's Rising Star

Over the past three years, Jomed's sales growth has been dramatic, as the company has challenged market leaders like Guidant and AVE in the European stent marketplace. But, unlike other small cardiovascular start-ups, Jomed won't be content with a strong stent business--it is actively engaged in building a broad-based cardiovascular business that is truly global..

Medical Device Business Strategies
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