Who will be the next Medtronic? What will be Minnesota's next breakthrough industry? James Walsh will provide the latest information and commentary on the people, companies and trends driving innovation in Minnesota. From visionary entrepreneurs to game changing technologies, this blog offers a window into the future of Minnesota's economy.
This week, technology and business leaders praised a research collaboration between the University of Minnesota and medical technology company Boston Scientific with a 2013 Tekne Award.
Given by the Minnesota High Tech Association, the award celebrates "technological breakthroughs that improve the lives of Minnesotans and people around the world."
Boston Scientific became the university’s first collaborator in the Minnesota Innovative Partnerships (MN-IP) program, which allows companies to pay an upfront fee and receive an exclusive worldwide license to intellectual property resulting from sponsored research.
Jay Schrankler, executive director of the U’s Office for Technology Commercialization, said the award was positive feedback for MN-IP.
“It’s encouraging to see that our efforts to make the U more inviting for business are beginning to show real results,” Schrankler said. “Our partnership with Boston Scientific is resulting in exciting new medical technologies and innovative approaches to some of our society’s greatest healthcare challenges.”
According to the university, Boston Scientific and the U are now working on several projects to improve patients’ health through "cutting-edge medical solutions. Boston Scientific’s industry experience pairs up with the university’s world class talent and facilities, granting both parties access to resources normally out of reach."
For more information about MN-IP, go to: http://www.research.umn.edu/techcomm/industry-sponsor.html#.Un1Qkfmkqmw
Medtronic on Thursday announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of its Lead Integrity Alert (LIA) software for use with non-Medtronic leads.
The software, which has been a standard feature on Medtronic devices since 2008, is now approved to report performance issues on Durata and Riata defibrillator leads made by St. Jude Medical and Endotak defibrillator leads made by Boston Scientific. Those leads must be connected to a Medtronic device.
Medtronic said LIA has shown the ability to detect lead issues in non-Medtronic leads at a greater rate than standard impedance monitoring alone. Impedance monitoring measures the electrical continuity of a lead four times per day.
For Durata and Riata leads, Medtronic said its software detected circuit issues six times more frequently than impedance monitoring. For Endotak, circuit issues were detected four times more frequently, Medtronic said.
In the U.S., approximately 12,000 Medtronic LIA-enabled defibrillators are connected to non-Medtronic leads, the company said. That includes approximately 5,100 Endotak leads and 6,100 Riata and Durata leads.
Leads are considered the weak link in pacemaker and defibrillator therapy. The thin wires can fracture, disconnect from the heart and short-circuit. St. Jude's Riata lead was removed from the market in late 2010 after it was discovered that the lead's inner wires were coming through its outer insulation. A year later, the FDA recalled the device.
St. Jude Medical has repeatedly said it has seen no similar problems with its Durata leads, pointing to years of data and monitoring of thousands of patients.
Matthew Taylor, the boy I wrote about who once was immobilized by Cerebral Palsy and muscle spasticity, last week accomplished his greatest feat yet – thanks to an implanted drug pump made by Medtronic.
The 16-year-old Florida student finished the Marine Corps Marathon outside of Washington D.C. His time was 5 hours, 46 minutes. For a kid who once faced a future in a wheelchair, his time was irrelevant to the fact of his accomplishment. He finished.
Still, Matthew expected more.
“It wasn’t what he wanted. He wanted to do it in five hours,” Kim Taylor said of her son.
Matthew had been training all summer for the 26.2-mile race, eventually getting up to running a 20-mile distance with the steady help of his high school cross country and track coach. But he kind of hit a wall there, his mom said.
“He said, ‘I don’t know where coach thinks the other six miles is going to come from,’” Kim Taylor said.
During the race on Oct. 27, which Matthew ran with coach Tim Young, the teen hit a bit of a wall again – at about the 20-mile mark. They stopped and Young stretched him. He was able to resume and finish without blisters or soreness.
Not only did Kim Taylor’s Facebook blow up with congratulations from family and friends, she had a giddy teenager with a long memory who wanted her to fulfill a promise. Three years ago, when he first started running, Matthew said to Kim: “If I ever run a marathon Mom, can I get a tattoo?”
Last Tuesday, he got “26.2” tattooed on the inside of his right ankle, the leg affected by his Cerebral Palsy.
This, according to Boston Scientific: "Enbles
Pete Sommerness, general manager of Electrophysiology for the Natick, Mass.-based med tech giant, said: "Completing this transaction is an important part of our global strategy to grow and transform our EP business. We believe that the complementary capabilities that this transaction brings, including expertise in capital equipment sales and service, will enable us to offer more complete solutions to help electrophysiologists diagnose and treat patients with cardiac arrhythmias."
Officials at Boston Scientific say they expect the acquisition to extend the company's reach into strategic global markets and will help accelerate launches of key EP technologies, such as the recently approved IntellaTip MiFi XP ablation catheter and its next-generation Rhythmia Mapping System.
The acquisition was first reported in June. Boston Scientific bought Bard's EP business for $275 million in cash. The company said it expects the transaction to have little to no impact on adjusted earning per share in 2013; 2014 impact is estimated to be about 1 cent per share.
Just got this email from the Franken folks. Thought I would pass it along.
Sen. Franken to Discuss Efforts to Repeal Medical Device Tax Today
Will Meet with Industry Leaders Privately in St. Paul; Later to Hold Media Availability
MINNESOTA [10/24/13]—Today, October 24, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) will be in St. Paul to meet with LifeScience Alley and several of Minnesota’s medical device companies. In his discussion with industry leaders, he will talk about his efforts to repeal the medical device tax.
Sen. Franken has opposed the medical device tax since it was first proposed, and fought successfully to cut it in half. He has been working hard to find a responsible bipartisan solution to repeal this tax once and for all. Companies in Minnesota are responsible for the devices that people all over the country rely on to keep them healthy. The medical device industry also provides thousands of high-quality jobs in Minnesota, and Sen. Franken believes that the device tax must be repealed in order to promote innovation and vital research and development.
At 11:45 a.m., after the closed-press meeting has concluded, Sen. Franken and the CEO of LifeScience Alley will hold a media availability.
WHO: U.S. Sen. Al Franken and Dale Wahlstrom, President & CEO, LifeScience Alley
WHAT: Meets with Minnesota medical device companies and discusses his efforts to repeal device tax
WHEN: Thursday, October 24. Media availability at approximately 11:45 a.m.
WHERE: University Enterprise Labs (South Entrance – Atrium), 1000 Westgate Drive, St. Paul, MN 55114