2015 med tech R&D budget: $2.224 billion
Change from 2014 budget ($1.497 billion): 48%
Percent of 2015 segment sales ($28.8 billion): 7%
Medtronic ($MDT) said that its multibillion-dollar merger with Covidien ($COV) last year would result in more R&D spending, and the company lived up to its word. The device giant nearly doubled its R&D spending in 2015 with new projects and partnerships.
Medtronic is hard at work on its artificial pancreas and recently revealed some positive data for the system. At the 2016 American Diabetes Association conference in New Orleans, LA, the company showed that its hybrid closed-loop system helped decrease A1c levels and reduce variability in sensor glucose values for 124 patients with Type 1 diabetes. The news came as music to Medtronic’s ears as it prepares to submit the system to the FDA for approval.
Medtronic is also expanding in other areas of diabetes R&D. The company recently partnered with Canary Health to develop health management programs for patients with diabetes and chronic disease. The partnership builds on Medtronic’s services push, as in spring 2015 it bought the Netherlands-based diabetes and research clinic Diabeter to expand in the field.
The company is also concentrating on gaining ground in robotic surgery. In May, Medtronic struck a deal with Israeli small-cap Mazor to enter robotic-assisted surgery. The deal is “one leg of a multipronged strategy” called “surgical synergies,” Geoff Martha, president of Medtronic’s Restorative Therapies Group, said at the time. “(W)e feel as we move out into the future, these surgical synergies will be in Spine our calling card,” Martha said.
Medtronic plans to develop its own robotic surgery program. Surgical revenue will generate “material revenue” in 2019, Bryan Hanson, Medtronic’s group president of Minimally Invasive Therapies, said in a statement. The company’s surgical robot will “likely” hit the market in 2018, Leerink analyst Danielle Antalffy wrote in a note to clients.
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