What do early-stage companies really need to focus on? Patent attorney David Dykeman says, first and foremost, that its intellectual property protection.
Dykeman –who co-chairs Greenberg Traurig’s global Life Sciences & Medical Technology Group – will speak at DeviceTalks Boston on October 2.
We asked him to give us some ideas on the important issues surrounding medtech M&A and patenting.
MDO: What’s going on in M&A? What are you seeing in the medtech industry?
Dykeman: After a few years of major consolidations in the medtech industry, we’re seeing those mega deals work their way through the system. Among the major players, there is still a very strong appetite for acquiring smaller and earlier stage companies with innovative solutions. Companies that are addressing a large market and an unmet medical need are particularly attractive for acquisition.
MDO: Is there anything you think companies hoping to be acquired can do to be more attractive?
Dykeman: Early-stage companies need to make sure they are dotting their “Is” and crossing their “Ts.” They need to address IP, the regulatory pathway, and reimbursement right from the early stages of company formation. Deals at all stages are getting done, but acquirers are willing to pay a premium for a company that is further down the approval path and has been de-risked.
MDO: What is the number one thing you’d say to a small company on getting a successful exit?
Dykeman: For early-stage companies, where the regulatory pathway may be long and uncertain, often their strongest asset is their patent portfolio. Companies need to file strategic patents from the beginning and supplement them with additional patent applications for incremental improvements and new innovations to form a picket fence of patent protection around their core technologies.
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