18 May Innovation in MedTech as a driver of new investment opportunities
Medical innovation has become a significant focus for venture capital investment in the last ten years. A growing, ageing population combined with the opportunity to develop global solutions, is driving a spike in innovation that helps people better manage their wellbeing or enables them to get well sooner.
Our Investor and co-founder of Juno Capital, Edward Rudd, outlines his experience of investing in medical technology (MedTech) companies like Sky Medical Technology, the advantages of platform technologies for an investor and the importance of data analytics in driving positive outcomes in healthcare:
One of Juno’s most important criteria for investment is that companies have already established themselves within a specific market through their technology, product, or service, but need additional capital to accelerate growth and build on their achievements. One such company was Sky Medical Technology, which has taken a technology called “On Pulse” and turned it into a wearable medical device that addresses multiple chronic issues – now known as the geko™ device.
I was first introduced to Sky Medical Technology when I was a partner at my previous investment company, Longbow Capital LLP, a specialist healthcare investment firm where I was responsible for sourcing and researching new opportunities.
I led the deal for Longbow to invest in Sky Medical Technology during 2009. When myself and my fellow founding partner Julian Hickman left Longbow to set up Juno Capital, I decided to remain in contact with Sky Medical Technology. It was one of the companies that I was keen to continue to have a relationship with and now I believe that we have invested more in Sky since we left Longbow than we did when we were there.
A platform technology
From the outset, I believed the geko™ device had the potential to be a platform technology, rather than just a simple single-application technology. The device could be applied to complications related to swelling after surgery, the closure of hard-to-heal wounds and the prevention of life-threatening blood clots. The range of applications was a significant driver for Juno to invest. It clearly worked. The evidence and the data, even in the early days, was not ambiguous. And it seemed a straightforward path to regulation and from there to get the product to market. This provided potential new avenues for use and resulted in an increased investment from Juno. Our interest in the company has expanded as the opportunity offered by the geko™ device has grown.
Applications for the geko™ device were relevant to a hospital environment where patients were immobile – such as those in intensive care or recovering from an operation – and were therefore at higher risk of blood clots, or in need of post-operative or trauma-based oedema management. The device could also be applied to wound healing in the community for patients either supported by medical staff or administering their own healthcare.
For Juno, the benefits of platform technologies are significant; it offers a portfolio approach. If you find it difficult to get traction with one application, you have got a lot of other opportunities to grow the potential uses for the device. For an investor that means there are multiple potential future investor or acquirers of the technology or the company.
Discover more about Edward’s experience investing in the geko™ device here.