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The Musculoskeletal New Ventures Conference: A Pop-Up Think Tank That Delivers in a Storm: Session Three

by Elizabeth Hofheinz, M.P.H., M.Ed.

The Musculoskeletal New Ventures (MNVC), now in its 18th year, will host session three of its 2020 conference on November 13th in a two-hour online session. Attendees will benefit from insider insights on the orthopedic market and details on new and emerging therapies and diagnostics delivered by a robust mix of investment bankers, Wall Street analysts, venture capitalists, business development specialists, and entrepreneurs.

Hosting the MNVC for the 18th year is Gary Stevenson, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Memphis, Tennessee-based MB Venture Partners. Stevenson, who spent six years in health care investment banking and research and seven years in several management roles with Abbott Laboratories, earned his undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Missouri and an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

On the agenda for November 13th, 2020:

  • Sectoral Asset Management – Michael Sjöström and Marc-André Marcotte
  • Simplify Medical – David Hovda and Brian Polonet
  • CurvaFix – Steven Dimmer and Bart Balkman
  • Hyalex Orthopaedics – Mira Sahney and David Myung
  • ConveyMD – Mike Donoghue and Chris West

Kicking off the session will be Michael Sjöström and Marc-André Marcotte from Sectoral Asset Management, based in Montreal, Quebec. Sjöström, co-founder of the company, served as CIO for 17 years and then joined Sectoral’s private equity team as Senior Partner. “We look forward to the MNVC event, and plan on providing an an overview of Sectoral and its venture investment program, priorities and highlight how musculoskeletal fits in,” stated Sjöström.

Marcotte, a Partner and Chief Operating Officer of Sectoral, is responsible for leading medical technology private equity investments. He added, “We plan to highlight Sectoral’s dual platforms (public and private investments), our high velocity investments, as well as the increasing attractiveness of musculoskeletal health for both the public and private markets.”

Shining a light on Sunnyvale, California-based Simplify Medical will be the company’s President and CEO, David Hovda. An inventor on over 50 medical device patents, Hovda stated, “We look forward to providing an overview of Simplify Disc technology and an update on our clinical studies, recent PMA approval, and commercialization plans.”

Brian Polonet, Simplify’s VP of Sales and Marketing, has held leadership roles in four IDE studies for artificial discs. He said, “Simplify Disc achieved superiority to fusion in our 1-level PMA, and we are pleased with the 2-level results we recently submitted to FDA. We believe motion preservation in the cervical spine is a great option for treating patients with radicular pain, enabling patients to retain their motion.”

Enlightening the audience on the latest in pelvic repair will be Steve Dimmer, President and CEO of Bellevue, Washington-based CurvaFix. Dimmer, who has over 125 U.S. patents granted or pending, stated, “CurvaFix is honored to present at MNVC this year on our transformative treatment for the repair of pelvic fractures. We have developed a novel solution for curved bones designed to simplify procedures, improve outcomes, and decrease costs for orthopedic trauma patients.”

“We are embarking on a very exciting time for the company,” continued Dimmer. “We have recently begun treating U.S. patients in our RESTORE clinical study and we are gearing up for commercialization of our FDA 510(k) cleared device. We believe our novel implant is truly disruptive and will be a welcome addition to the orthopedic surgeon’s armamentarium.”

CurvaFix’s COO, Bart Balkman, has been the VP of sales at seven Medtech startups. He stated, “As we transition to commercialization, the feedback we’ve received from surgeons is that the CurvaFix device fills an unmet need in fracture fixation. The device, which uses a common surgical technique similar to intramedullary rods, is the only minimally invasive implant that matches the individual patient’s bone curvature. We believe this enables stronger fixation, shorter surgery, and a quicker recovery for pelvic fracture patients.”

Reporting on Lexington, Massachusetts-based Hyalex Orthopaedics, Inc. will be Mira Sahney, company President and CEO, who has 20 years of businesses leadership in the successful commercialization of disruptive innovation. “We will be introducing our transformative HYALEX® cartilage materials platform to the orthopaedic community, including some early groundbreaking results that we have begun to publish,” stated Sahney. “Cartilage is the holy grail of orthopaedics, and naturally there is a bit of healthy skepticism about anyone’s ability to address the challenge of cartilage damage and disease. What has me and many others so excited about the HYALEX® cartilage solution is that we’ve taken a different approach and engineered a new materials platform from the ground up, that is designed to mimic the properties of native hyaline cartilage.”

“We anticipate attendees will join us, our advisors and collaborators in our excitement about future innovative solutions based on the HYALEX® cartilage platform that can help patients suffering from cartilage injury and disease. “We anticipate attendees will join us, our advisors and collaborators in our excitement about future innovative solutions based on the HYALEX® cartilage platform designed to help patients suffering from cartilage injury and disease.”

And sharing details about ConveyMD, an on-demand educational podcast company in Memphis, Tennessee, will be Mike Donoghue, company CEO and Co-Founder. Donoghue, who formerly served as Senior Vice President of Global Marketing at Smith & Nephew, stated, “Like so many other industries, Covid-19 has disrupted the physician education model. Physicians want to stay current with the latest information, products and trends, but tell us they’re swamped at work like never before and just want to spend time with their families when they get home.”

Chris West, COO of ConveyMD, formerly served as president of the Memphis-based ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator. He stated, “Podcasts are exploding in popularity due to their convenience, and many physicians are podcast enthusiasts but open platforms like Spotify can’t support physician education. The Convey App was built to specifically support society-generated physician education, to include CME episodes, in a compliant manner. We believe this will revolutionize the physician education experience.”

So join us at the MNVC…where new ventures come alive.

To register for the third of the four “pop-up think tanks” on November 13th, please visit: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_TFhLVmATRSqEyuloiXOqRQ

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Elizabeth Hofheinz

Two time winner of the MORE award Ms. Hofheinz was the first writer employed by Orthopedics This Week. The MORE award is granted annually by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to recognize excellence in journalism. Ms. Hofheinz is currently the Director of Communications for Ortho Spine Partners (OSP).

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