Abbott partners with healthcare tech incubator Matter

Abbott ($ABT) has partnered with Chicago, IL-based Matter, a healthcare technology incubator, in its latest bid to access innovation. The diversified conglomerate, which markets nutrition, diagnostics, established pharmaceutical and medical device products, is under pressure to improve revenue growth and profitability in the wake of its 2013 split from the biopharma R&D-oriented AbbVie ($ABBV).

It has been on a tear of early stage medical device deals over at least the last year or so. In 2014, it established an electrophysiology business via three deals with NEA portfolio companies. In 2015, it did a couple of mitral valve replacement deals--along with several other major medical device players who were busy snapping up these companies last year.

As part of the Matter deal, Abbott will gain input on its identification and commercialization of promising new innovations from its 115 startups. In return, the incubator will gain access to the expertise and potentially the resources at the giant, far-reaching Abbott, whose valuation exceeds $60 billion.

"At Abbott, we are on a mission to help people live their best lives, and innovation is at the center of everything we do," said Abbott Ventures EVP John Capek in a statement. "We look forward to collaborating with entrepreneurs and other industry leaders at Matter to identify and support the growth of next-generation technologies that help people live better, more fulfilling lives."

Matter already has a number of existing partnerships in place, including one with AbbVie. It also counts the American Medical Association, Allscripts, Astellas, Takeda and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois among its collaborators. That's an impressive line-up, particularly given that Matter was founded in early 2014 and named its first startup class that fall.

In December, Matter added 20 healthcare tech startups including video game exercise startup SymGym, gene therapy atrial fibrillation player Rhythm Therapeutics and machine learning genomic analysis company Helix Anaytix.

- here is the announcement