The Medtech sector might not hold the allure of some other innovative sectors, but a new generation of investors and entrepreneurs is creating exciting new companies and generating strong returns. In this conversation these leaders share their perspective on the opportunities and challenges in our sector.
Cynthia Yee, Principal – Windham Venture Partners
Michael Ackermann, VP, Neurostimulation – Allergan (Oculeve)
Bobby Azamian, MD, PhD, President & Chief Medical Officer – Metavention
Harith Rajagopalan, MD, PhD, Co-Founder & CEO – Fractyl
Cynthia Yee is a Principal at Windham Venture Partners and is as a Board Director at ClarVista Medical and a board observer at Cartiva, Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx) and VytronUS. She has diverse experience investing in public and private healthcare companies across the medical device and healthcare IT sectors.
Michael is currently Vice President, Neurostimulation for Allergan, plc, and most recently CEO of Oculeve, Inc., which was acquired by Allergan in August 2015.
Bobby Azamian is the Founder, President and Chief Medical Officer of Metavention. Bobby joined Versant Ventures in 2011, and while at Versant founded Metavention and served as its first President and Chief Executive Officer.
Harith Rajagopalan, MD, PhD
Dr. Harith Rajagopalan is Co-Founder and CEO of Fractyl, having started the company while serving as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at General Catalyst Partners.
00:47 – Why Medtech?
01:14 – Azamian: Still much to do in diabetes.
02:37 – Rajagopalan: My answer is, Medtech chose me.
04:05 – I feel uninspired by a world where people are taking a dozen medicines.
05:00 – Ackermann: In biotech you can’t get into humans for a couple of million dollars and iterate inch-by-inch.
06:30 – What were some of the support structures you leaned upon?
08:55 – A shared, important experience of Azamian and Rajagopalan.
10:25 – One of the amazing things about the country that we live in….
11:45 – Can you discuss the evolution of Oculeve from project to division within Allergan?
13:30 – Ackermann: For me as a first- time CEO every quarter I was doing something I’d never done before.
14:35 – How much thought did you give the sales channel?
16:20 – Rajagopalan: It’s amazing to me the degree patients will go to avoid insulin.
17:25 – How do you hide a $100 bill…..
20:30 – How do we steer physicians away from journals and toward the real- world data that matters?.
21:00 – How are you positioning Oculeve against Restasis?
23:10 – What made you decide to sell Oculeve rather than raise a Series C?
25:00 – What advice would you give entrepreneurs considering a move into Medtech?
25:30 – Azamian: Now is probably as good a time as ever to get into Medtech.
26:10 – Rajagopalan: I don’t view myself as a Medtech guy.
27:30 – Ackermann: Surround yourself with good people.
28:00 – Would you do it again? Answers are surprising.