Defining 'fierce' in the modern age of drug and device development

Now, more than ever, the life sciences industry is all about innovative and disruptive technologies. In any venture-backed industry, companies can only create value when they promise to concentrate on game-changing technologies. And every year for the past decade, FierceBiotech has made its picks on which companies hold the best odds for success in our Fierce 15 report.

This year, though, we've added another Fierce 15 to focus on medical devices and diagnostics. And earlier this week the life sciences crew turned out at AdvaMed in Boston to celebrate the list and hand out awards to companies that help define what we mean by "fierce."

There are some similarities between drug and device developers. Certainly every company is pushing the envelope on efficiency. We've seen a number of virtual companies rise up with a sharp focus on product development. And Big Pharma has been extending its venture reach into both fields, anxious to gain a ringside seat on some fascinating new programs.  

But there are some differences as well. Timelines on product development are generally much longer for drugs than for devices. And it's much more likely that savvy device developers can execute marketing campaigns in Europe and the U.S. without a major partnership--a rare event in biotech. 

I'd like to encourage readers to consider the differences by comparing the companies in each report, which we've assembled for your convenience below. Also, keep in mind that the Fierce 15 is an ongoing annual project. We gather data and insight on companies every day of the week. And some find themselves on our short list long before we make the final picks. So if there's someone you'd like to nominate, don't wait until next year. Drop an editor a note today. 

It's never too early to get a jump on the year ahead. -- John Carroll, Editor-in-Chief. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

  • FierceBiotech's 2012 Fierce 15
  • Here's a slideshow of the awards presention at BioPharm America 2012
  • Here's a roundup of previous reports
  • FierceMedicalDevices' 2012 Fierce 15
  • Check out the slideshow of the awards presentation and other highlights at AdvaMed 2012