Some of the biggest names in medtech came together this week at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. They shared updates on financial progress, operational changes and new products, among other things.
Medtronic shared details on plans to restore earnings power, while Abbott highlighted the success of its FreeStyle Libre system. Shockwave Medical outlined its plans for growth, and Dexom unveiled its newest product.
Here are some of the biggest stories to come out of this year’s edition of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.
Medtronic Chair and CEO Geoff Martha’s presentation centered on profits for the medtech giant.
“Our top priority is restoring our earnings power — full stop,” he said. “We continue to be this mission-driven company that you know Medtronic to be, and our customers and patients know Medtronic to be, but at the same time, performance-driven. You’ve got to be both. It’s not one without the other: no margin, no mission.”
Martha also highlighted cardiac ablation, diabetes and structural heart as the company’s highest-growth opportunities. That includes pulsed field ablation, automated insulin delivery and TAVR, among other offerings.
Additionally, Martha announced the creation of the Medtronic AI Center of Excellence. It marks an effort to leverage common artificial intelligence platforms across the company’s portfolio like Medtronic Endoscopy’s GI Genius.
Ultimately, executives are bullish about the future at Medtronic.
“We’re feeling really good. … It all starts with innovation and growth and having a $32 billion revenue company growing mid-single digits, powered by innovation. I think that’s a pretty good thing,” Martha said. “We believe that growth is durable and we’re driving the earnings power.”
Martha also offered details of Medtronic’s efforts to leverage its buying power and improve efficiency, including news about manufacturing site closures, distribution center consolidations and other operations and supply chain initiatives.
Abbott touts its continuous glucose monitor as ‘most successful medtech product’
“Abbott has a long-established presence in diabetes care,” Ford said. “Our market-leading continuous glucose monitoring device, FreeStyle Libre has fundamentally changed the management of diabetes.”
Ford added: “Libre is definitely the most successful medtech product in history, at least in terms of revenue.”
The company targeted the mass market, he said, reaching more than 5 million people who now use Libre around the world. That includes 2 million in the U.S. And, Ford still sees opportunity in this area, as he did last year.
“We have just begun to scratch the surface and there are several new growth opportunities for us on the horizon.”
“This new opportunity is a result of several collaboration agreements we have with leading insulin pump manufacturers and this is an exciting new development for those who chose to receive their insulin through a wearable pump,” he said.
Shockwave Medical is a company that has garnered a lot of interest over the past year or two, with some major medtech companies rumored to be circling on the acquisition front. While that hasn’t come to fruition, the company continues to innovate and grow.
In a presentation at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, Shockwave President and CEO Doug Godshall explained where the company’s priorities lie as it looks to continue its growth into 2024 and beyond.
“At Shockwave, we are on a mission to establish ourselves as the premier medtech growth company by transforming treatment of poorly served patient populations with paradigm-changing technologies,” Godshall said. “We have in front of us a $14 billion opportunity. We look to simplify procedures, optimize outcomes and validate our technologies through clinical evidence generation.
“We’re really enthusiastic about the future and love the opportunity in front of us.”
At the heart of Godshall’s presentation was product launches. The company now expects to launch two or three products per year, while also committing to global expansion efforts.
“We’ll continue to kick out new products that will enable us to maintain growth for the end of the decade,” Godshall said. “How are we going to keep growing? We’re going to increase penetration with new products expand the treatable pool of populations, continue to improve customer economics. We will invest in clinical data.”
“I’m thrilled with the quality of the team members we have on board and the caliber of the folks that we have been adding as as time has gone by.”
Dexcom CEO Kevin Sayer at J.P. Morgan unveiled the company’s newest product: the Stelo sensor.
The company designed Stelo specifically for people with type 2 diabetes who do not use insulin. Stelo has a 15-day wear time with a cash-pay option. It features a software experience tailored specifically for non-insulin users.
“Our mission is to empower people to control health and this is the first step along that journey,” Sayer told Drug Delivery Business News. We’ll always be very active in the insulin-using world. That is our core business. Those are our core customers and, really, the people that have gone with us this on this journey. We’re never going to abandon that.
“We’ll continue to advance and enhance our technologies here but we just think glucose can be such a vital sign for other people wanting to control their health.”
The company expects to launch Stelo in the U.S. in the summer of 2024.
“Understanding glucose levels is key to unlocking our metabolic health, and Stelo will help users see first-hand how their health is affected by factors such as diet, exercise, sleep and stress,” said Jake Leach, Dexcom EVP and COO, during the company’s preliminary earnings announcement yesterday. “Through our expanding product portfolio, Dexcom is defining the future of sensing technology and empowering people to take control of health.”
Johnson & Johnson MedTech highlights growth through M&A
It’s been an interesting year for Johnson & Johnson MedTech as the unit begins a new era under new leadership. Longtime J&J MedTech Chair Ashley McEvoy announced her resignation in October, with Tim Schmid taking over the reins.
Still, the company reports significant progress, as CEO Joaquin Duato outlined at J.P. Morgan. In his presentation, transcribed by SeekingAlpha, Duato pointed out some of the major recent development timelines at J&J. That includes the much-anticipated Ottava surgical robot. Last fall, the company said it plans to submit Ottava for FDA investigational device exemption (IDE) this year.
Duato also highlighted progress on pulsed field ablation, with the company completing a study for its Varipulse catheter. Last month, at an Investor Day event, Duato outlined how he expects new products to fuel growth at the company.
Vitally, though, Duato pointed to the company’s M&A activity as a big driving factor. Integration for its $16.6 billion acquisition of Abiomed continues and “is running ahead” of J&J’s projections. Duato said it also offers the company a gateway into cardiology, especially interventional cardiology.
The recent acquisition of Laminar propels J&J into the left atrial appendage device market as well.
“[It was] a good year from a growth perspective and also from a strategic perspective,” Duato said. “When it comes to overall 2023 … at this point I feel very confident that we are going to be able to deliver on the guidance that we provided.”
Omnipod 5 is on a roll at Insulet
Insulet President and CEO Jim Hollingshead presented at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference earlier this week as well. In the presentation, he highlighted Insulet’s progress, which includes the Omnipod 5 automated insulin delivery (AID) system.
According to Insulet, Omnipod 5 was No. 1 in U.S. new customer starts for the company as users continue to gravitate toward the market-leading patch pump system.
The patch pump space is an interesting one. Medtronic had plans to buy EOFlow, pitting the company against Insulet in the market. However, that deal fell through last month. Tandem Diabetes Care also has a new patch pump that won FDA clearance last year. Embecta earlier this week submitted its own patch pump — which targets type 2 diabetes, rather than the type 1 population catered to by Insulet — to the FDA.
Hollingshead outlined plans to expand the Omnipod 5 platform through U.S. growth, international launches, CGM compatibility expansions and iOS phone control. Next-generation algorithms and hardware, plus AI and machine learning-based products could be on the way as well.
“Our goal is to simplify life for people living with diabetes,” Hollingshead said. “We do that with our Omnipod platform. … It reduces the burden of living with diabetes dramatically. It also improves outcomes.
“We have multiple competitive advantages at Insulet.”