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At MedTech Investing Conference, "Med tech is alive and well"

Christina Hernandez Sherwood, eMed Editor, MedCity News

“Med tech is alive and well, despite what we hear out there,” Kevin Wasserstein, founder and principal at MentorCatalyst, told the attendees of today’s MedTech Investing Conference. Wasserstein, the conference’s co-chair, cited as evidence that the conference -- which attracts entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists, strategics, and service providers from across the country -- saw no drop in attendance this year. About 350 people are attending the event in Minneapolis.

But the mood was less optimistic when Wasserstein asked attendees to estimate whether the med tech climate is better, worse, or the same as a year ago. While only a handful voted for the climate being better or worse, the vast majority decided it’s remained the same. “We can look at the industry now and say we’re in a state of crisis,” Wasserstein said. “You could also look at that as a great time of opportunity.”

When Wasserstein asked the conference’s advisory board to list current opportunities in the sector, they developed the following list:

  • There have been many new, important clinical approvals in the space.
  • Funding sources, such as med tech corporates, pharma, and overseas investors, are expanding.
  • “Acquirers are as voracious as ever.”
  • There are signs of progress in many branches of the FDA.
  • “The public market continues to strengthen.”
  • There is growing momentum to repeal the medical device tax.

“Now is the time for us to be innovating,” Wasserstein said. “How can we do it?”

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