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Focus on Shoulder Replacement: BVMed, Earlybird, and High-Tech Gründerfonds Publish “MedTech Radar 3”

Innovations in artificial joint replacement illustrated by a modern shoulder implant are the focus of the third edition of “MedTech-Radar,” a shared media service provided by the German Medical Technology Association (BVMed), Earlybird Venture Capital, and High-Tech Gründerfonds. The publication contains a case study of Topsfield Medical GmbH, a company aiming to improve patient care with an innovative prosthesis anchor and minimally invasive technology.
Also in the news: The results of the second innovation climate survey among medical technology companies are in. As last year, the companies found cardiology to be the most innovative area of research. The third edition of MedTech Radar is available in German and English.

Diseases of the musculoskeletal system are the leading cause of chronic pain and physical disability. With the help of medical technology procedures using endoprosthetics, though, pain-free mobility should be possible into old age. After the hip and the knee, the third most common joint for replacement with an endoprosthesis is the shoulder. However, the lifetime of shoulder replacement implants is significantly shorter than that of knee and hip implants. Topsfield Medical, a startup company founded in Berlin in February 2012, is developing an innovative shoulder prosthesis fixation method in connection with a minimally invasive technology. Seed financing from High­Tech Gründerfonds is making it possible for the company to develop further prototypes as well as conduct clinical studies for admission to the market.

The international team of Topsfield chose Berlin as their German site with intention. “Berlin is a good place for a young medical technology company because the city does a great deal to promote innovation and is also where some of Germany’s best academic institutions are located,” say CEO Dr. Maria Apreleva-Scheffler and Managing Director Paul Fenton.

In the context of MedTech Radar, BVMed conducts an annual online survey of its members regarding the innovation climate in Germany. The results for 2013: Germany has well-educated scientists and engineers in medical technology as well as a high level of clinical research. However, the climate of innovation in Germany is increasingly endangered by health insurance companies hostile to innovation, bureaucratic processes, and uncertainty regarding the future benefit assessment of medical products.

Participating in the survey were 68 researching MedTech companies. On a scale of 0 to 10, they gave the innovation climate for medical technology in Germany a rating of 6.2. The index thereby remains at the exact value from the first survey at the beginning of 2012. As in the previous year, the companies consider cardiology to be the most innovative area of research, named by 47% of those surveyed. Following cardiology are diagnostics (34%), surgery (32%), neurology (31%), and oncology and orthopedics (each 20%).

When questioned about hindrances to innovation financing in Germany, the companies primarily blamed health insurance company policies that are hostile to innovation (69%), overly bureaucratic processes (63%), and uncertainty about the future benefit assessment of medical products (44%). Also frequently mentioned were low reimbursement prices (41%) and rigid sectoral budgeting (35%).

“The MedTech Radar is intended to provide a continuous insight into new developments in the innovative world of medical technology, says BVMed Managing Director and Board member Joachim M. Schmitt. “We want to make it clear together what a decisive contribution the promotion of innovation makes to patient welfare in Germany,” says Dr. Michael Brandkamp, Managing Director at High-Tech Gründerfonds, in describing their goal. “We want to use practical examples to show the complex road a medical product travels from research to use with patients,” adds Earlybird Partner Thom Rasche.

You can read the complete issue of MedTech Radar 3  here.

About the publishers:
High-Tech Gründerfonds invests venture capital in young, high-opportunity companies that turn promising research results into business.

Earlybird Venture Capital is one of the most successful European venture investors and currently manages over €500 million in capital for an international investor base.

The German Medical Technology Association (BVMed) is a trade association representing over 230 industrial and commercial companies in the medical technology sector.

Responsible for content under German press law:
The German Medical Technology Association (BVMed), Reinhardtstr. 29 b, 10117 Berlin
Manfred Beeres, Head of Communication/Press; tel. +49 – 30 246 255-20, beeres@bvmed.de , www.bvmed.de  

Earlybird Venture Capital GmbH & Co KG, Torstr. 109, 10119 Berlin
Christine Höfer; Tel. +49 – 30 46724700, hoefer@earlybird.com , www.earlybird.com  

High-Tech Gründerfonds Management GmbH, Schlegelstraße 2, 53113 Bonn
Stefanie Zillikens; Tel. +49 – 228 82300107, s.zillikens@htgf.de , www.htgf.de  

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