The NYC MedTech Medical Technology Forum has, for some years, presented programs which bring together the life science, biotech, device and pharma industries. Attendees are always an eclectic mix of executives, reporters, scientists, academics, attorneys, and developers as well as representatives of trade organizations and international partners.Last week’s presentation at the Consulate General of Hungary provided a view of global health tech rarely seen in the US–the view from Central Europe. It focused on Central European and in particular Hungarian health tech companies, ranging from Big Pharma (Janssen Pharmaceutical/J&J) and law firm Goodwin to six early-stage companies participating in the V4 Connects Global Tour business showcase. The Visegrad Group (the V4) are four Central European countries–Hungary (this year’s president), Poland, the Czech Republic, and the Slovak Republic–within the EU that have worked together since 1991 to promote their regional interests.
The evening led off with a discussion panel led by Goodwin’s Frederick Rein, a partner in their IP Litigation Group, with Scott Lassman from their Technology & Life Sciences Group and Peter Takacs, Director Real World Evidence Partnership in the Global Market Access Organization of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. Most of the discussion was on the differences in drug regulation between the EU and the US, and the swing back in the latter to getting more innovative medical products to US consumers quickly. A hot area is biosimilars, branded drugs that are highly similar but not identical to other drugs, which are gaining FDA approval through the 351(k) pathway. Other topics: the US increasing pressure on pricing and the UK’s Brexit, which will present challenges to drug and device developers from staffing to markets.
Over Hungarian food, drink (excellent Hungarian red and white wines), and networking in adjacent rooms, the five tech-based early stage-companies had café table displays of their products. :
- Insimu – Interactive medical case study education app with simulated patients for students to test their diagnostic and clinical skills on virtual patients. The founder, Gabor Toth MD, is targeting medical schools: currently in use in Hungary and 39 other countries.
- Vitrolink – Imaged-based tumor detection tool for pathology decision support. While the number of diagnostic tests are increasing, the number of pathologists worldwide is actually decreasing. Vitrolink is a free connecting platform for pathologists to share information which will eventually move to researchers and patients.
- Now Tech – The Gyroset is a smart wheelchair controller and proportional head controller, an unobtrusive band that contains an eye level camera.
- Notch – Movements reconstructed in 3D for smartphones. The main use is in physical therapy. It captures position, motion, and acceleration through multiple sensors, calculating and graphically representing degrees of motion.
- ME3D – 3D CFD-based analysis system for vascular anastomosis (suturing). The co-founder, Balazs Gasz MD, is a vascular surgeon and the kit plus model offers a realistic recreation of the surgical vascular environment (left) for medical training.
(The sixth, Promobox, is a gift box for maternity/baby products available in Hungary’s hospitals.)
Many thanks to founder/organizer John Lieberman CPA/PFS, the Managing Director of Perelson Weiner LLP and Gábor Takács, Hungarian 1st Secretary for Science and Technology, who will shortly be moving to London.