From banking to biz dev: making money in med tech
Affiliation: Abbott Diabetes Care
Title: Head of Global Business Development
Brittany Bradrick has a lot of admiration for DexCom ($DXCM)--particularly considering that they are a direct competitor of Abbott ($ABT) when it comes to blood glucose monitors. She expects to see the company bring digital device compatibility to its continuous glucose monitors (CGMs). Right now the monitors include a small sensor that's worn on the skin and a receiver that downloads and tracks data. But soon that receiver will be replaced by a smartphone, Bradrick argued at the MedtechWomen conference in Menlo Park, CA, in September.
"They are going full-bore into digital. They bought a digital health company and are trying to do a step-wise progression with FDA. They are developing a device that shares data with the system and sends data into the cloud. That's where everybody hopes to go with the smartphone. The smartphone replacing the reader is the next step. DexCom is the company that I can think of that's blazing that trail," she said.
DexCom has said it's creating an app that can aggregate data from different devices but hasn't released it yet. It will be compatible with insulin pumps from Asante Solutions and Insulet, and presumably its own CGM as well as others.
In early September, Abbott got a CE mark for a new CGM that doesn't require any finger sticks--not even the twice daily required to calibrate other CGM systems. It consists of a small wearable sensor with a tiny filament and a small handheld reader that receives and tracks blood glucose readings. It's aiming for an FDA approval of that product but hasn't disclosed a timeline yet.
Bradrick may have been hinting at future plans for the system, one that replaces the reader with a smartphone app.
Bradrick started out in banking at JPMorgan Chase, then narrowed her focus to med tech and biotech banking at Credit Suisse First Boston. Eventually, she became a med tech and biotech banker at Piper Jaffray. She transitioned to industry as a consultant and then about four years ago went in-house to head up business development for Abbott's diabetes care business.
And meaningful innovation can't come too quickly for Abbott. Its Diabetes Care revenues were $577 million during the first half, down 27% from the same period a year earlier. The company chalked the losses up to reductions in reimbursement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and erosion of market share.
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-- Stacy Lawrence (email | Twitter)