J&J’s Biosense Webster gets a new president

Jasmina Brooks, Biosense Webster president [Image courtesy of LinkedIn]Johnson & Johnson’s Biosense Webster this week announced it appointed Jasmina Brooks as president.

As president, Brooks will be responsible for setting Biosense Webster’s global strategy and advancing its innovation agenda to position the company for continued growth.

Brooks succeeds Michael Bodner, who is now the global head of heart recovery for J&J MedTech. She has more than 25 years of experience in the cardiovascular field with a primary focus on electrophysiology.

Most recently, Brooks was the VP of global strategic marketing at Biosense Webster, where she worked with cross-functional and international teams to set the strategy and shape the company product pipeline to drive growth, market share and profitability. She previously joined the company in 2014 and has held numerous roles within the global strategic marketing organization at Biosense Webster.


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Data supports Biosense Webster RF ablation for treating AFib

The QDOT Micro catheter. [Image from Biosense Webster/Johnson & Johnson MedTech]Johnson & Johnson MedTech’s Biosense Webster today announced data from a study of its QDOT Micro catheter for treating AFib.

JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology published data from the Q-FFICIENCY study evaluating QDOT Micro’s safety and 12-month effectiveness. The study observed use of the catheter in paroxysmal AFib ablation using a combination of high-power and conventional modes. QDOT features a very high-power, short-duration QMODE+ mode and a conventional-power, temperature-controlled QMODE setting.

Irvine, California-based Biosense Webster conducted its prospective, multicenter study across 22 U.S. centers. It evaluated 166 patients with drug-refractory, symptomatic paroxysmal AFib. The study demonstrated that the use of QDOT’s QMODE+ setting, alone or inc combination with QMODE, improved procedural efficiency. It also showed enhanced 12-month effectivenes…

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Medtronic and Johnson & Johnson reportedly consider Shockwave acquisition

The Shockwave Intravascular Lithotripsy (IVL) System uses pressure waves to break up calcification restricting blood flow. [Image from Shockwave Medical]Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) are interested in acquiring Shockwave Medical  (Nasdaq:SWAV), according to a StreetInsider.com report citing an unnamed source.

The financial news website did not say how the source knows the information or why they are not being identified by name.

“We don’t comment on rumors or speculation,” Medtronic spokesperson Erika Winkels said today.

Johnson & Johnson and Shockwave have not yet responded to requests for comment, but we’ll update this post if they do.

Bloomberg last month said that Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) was also eying Shockwave. The Bloomberg report cited “people with knowledge of the matter” — who asked not to be named due to the privacy of the talks.

There’s no doubt Shockwave is hot.…
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Johnson & Johnson MedTech: ‘Stay tuned’ for Ottava next-gen surgical robot

Martin Buehler.

It’s been about two and a half years since Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) unveiled its plans for a next-generation surgical robot.

At the time, the six-armed “Ottava” system generated a lot of buzz. Johnson & Johnson shared details on the surgical robotic platform set to offer unrivaled flexibility and control compared to the rest of the market. It features six arms to provide more control and flexibility in surgery, while those arms will be integrated into the operating table.

The company said its platform has a zero-footprint design to enable patient access, increase space in the operating room and improve workflow.

Over the past 30 months, though, the company remained tight-lipped over developments with the platform. In October 2021, J&J pushed back the platform’s development timeline by about two years due to multiple factors. It initially expected was to begin the verification and validation processes for …

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Johnson & Johnson MedTech’s leader is AdvaMed’s new chair

Johnson & Johnson MedTech EVP and Worldwide Chair Ashley McEvoy [Photo courtesy of Johnson & Johnson]AdvaMed announced today that it has named Ashley McEvoy, EVP of MedTech at Johnson & Johnson, as its new chair.

The group’s board of directors unanimously elected McEvoy as its chair during its quarterly meeting yesterday. She is the first woman to serve as chair at the major U.S. medical technology trade association, which was founded in 1974. (Pam Bailey, who is board chair at medtech contract manufacturing giant Integer, was AdvaMed’s CEO from 1999 to 2005.)

McEvoy succeeds Abiomed’s former CEO Michael Minogue. She starts a two-year term as board chair at the same time that major medtech companies such as Johnson & Johnson face a host of challenges. Health provider customers in the U.S. and elsewhere are grappling with staffing shortages and operational challenges. There are macroeconomic headwinds, and the Chinese government is seeki…

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Johnson & Johnson cuts nearly 350 surgical robotics jobs

The Monarch platform for robot-assisted urology procedures continues to advance. [Image courtesy of Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon]Johnson & Johnson is letting go of nearly 350 employees in the surgical robotics space, according to layoff notices filed in California at the beginning of this month.

The WARN notices list layoffs involving 292 workers at Auris, 47 at Verb Surgical, and four at Ethicon Endo-Surgery. All of the jobs were based in Santa Clara County; the layoffs are effective April 30.

The job reductions are part of the restructuring and layoffs involving at least 1,000 J&J employees that MassDevice reporting uncovered on March 6. MassDevice has reported on more than 19,000 medtech workers let go across the industry since mid-2022.

In an interview in this week’s DeviceTalks Weekly podcast, Joe Mullings, CEO of The Mullings Group, a prominent medical device executive search firm, confirmed that he knew of several positions eliminate…

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The biggest medical device VC deals of 2022

Enable Injections, which makes the enFuse device, raised $215 million in January 2022. [Photo courtesy of Enable Injections]

Last year was definitely a slower year for medical device VC deals than the year before.

Biofourmis was the only medical device developer in the 10 largest healthcare VC deals of 2022, according to a ranking provided to Medical Design & Outsourcing by Silicon Valley Bank (SVB).

Because we love devices at Medical Design & Outsourcing, we asked SVB for a ranking of 2022’s largest medical device VC deals after Biofourmis, which raised $325 million in its 2022 series D round. (The year before that, CMR Surgical’s $600 million Series D financing round was the largest medical device VC deal of 2021.)

SVB obliged, once again drawing upon its own proprietary information and data from Pitchbook. The dealmakers include device developers with innovative methods for …

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Biosense Webster marks first cases with dual energy ablation tech

The Thermocool SmartTouch SF ablation catheter [Image courtesy of J&J’s Biosense Webster]Biosense Webster today announced the first cases with its investigational Thermocool SmartTouch SF dual energy catheter for treating AFib.

The system enables doctors performing an ablation to toggle between two types of energy: pulsed-field and radiofrequency. It appears to be the Johnson & Johnson MedTech subsidiary’s answer to the dual energy ablation tech coming out of Affera, which competitor Medtronic acquired for $1 billion last year.

Dr. Tom De Potter performed the first procedure with Thermocool SmartTouch at OLV Hospital in Aalst, Belgium. Biosense Webster said Dr. Mattias Duytschaever of AZ Sint-Jan Brugge Oostende AV performed several additional cases. The Brugge, Belgium, hospital is also taking part in the clinical trial.

“While radiofrequency ablation has decades of safety and efficacy data to support it, pulse field ablation is a novel…

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Johnson & Johnson is cutting jobs in its MedTech business

Johnson & Johnson announced restructuring and layoffs to employees over the past week that could eliminate at least 1,000 jobs, according to people inside and outside of the company.

J&J spokespeople did not immediately respond to requests for comment about the job cuts in the company’s MedTech business, which have been a subject of discussion on LinkedIn.

The reorganization included the dissolution of the company’s Mitek Sports Medicine business, according to Rajit Kamal, the outgoing worldwide president of sports medicine and shoulder reconstruction. While not addressing layoffs, Kamal described the move in a LinkedIn post yesterday. J&J is combining sports medicine products into trauma and extremities. Meanwhile, shoulder reconstruction is moving into joint reconstruction.

“I am very confident that the new structure will drive focus and synergy to enable growth for both our Sports Medicine and Shoulder Reconstruction business,” Kamal wrote…

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FDA clears surgical robot from Noah Medical

The Galaxy System. [Image courtesy of Noah Medical]Noah Medical announced that it received FDA clearance for its Galaxy System for robotic-navigated bronchoscopy.

San Carlos, California-based Noah Medical designed Galaxy and its accessories to provide bronchoscopic visualization and access. These capabilities provide diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in patient airways.

The system features advanced imaging technologies that provide real-time location updates for potentially cancerous lesions. Noah said in a news release that it designed the technology to improve tool-in-lesion and diagnostic yield.

“While various technologies to diagnose lung cancer have been utilized over time, the diagnostic yield has remained relatively low,” said Jian Zhang, Noah Medical founder and CEO. “The Galaxy System is designed to close this gap in the market, giving clinicians a safe and easy-to-use platform to potentially improve diagnostic yield and produce better clinical…

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Supreme Court denies J&J appeal of $302M vaginal mesh ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear Johnson & Johnson‘s (NYSE:JNJ) appeal of a $302 million judgment for false and deceptive marketing of its vaginal mesh implants.

The nation’s highest court denied the medtech maker’s bid for review without comment, allowing the California ruling to stand.

Attorneys for the state sued Johnson & Johnson and its Ethicon subsidiary in 2016, alleging the company neglected to tell patients and physicians about potentially severe complications and misrepresented the frequency and severity of the risk.

The case went to trial in front of a San Diego County judge in 2019 and resulted in a $343.99 million judgment against the companies in early 2020. The Fourth District Court of Appeals in California cut the civil penalties by $42 million last year.

J&J wanted a review of the case, saying it wasn’t fairly notified of the penalties and that attorneys for the state of California didn&#…

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Alcon to pay $199M to J&J to settle patent dispute

The LenSx laser system cataract procedures [Image courtesy of Alcon]Alcon (SIX/NYSE: ALC) recently announced that it has settled a patent dispute with J&J Surgical Vision.

The $199 million settlement, announced Feb. 12, ends a lawsuit that J&J had filed in June 2020 in U.S. District Court in Delaware. J&J Surgical Vision had claimed that Alcon femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery devices, including the company’s LenSx device, infringed on one or more claims in 12 of J&J’s U.S. patents.

On top of the one-time payment, the two companies have exchanged cross-licenses of certain intellectual property and other mutually agreed covenants and releases. The payment secures the patent rights for Alcon. It also resolves various worldwide intellectual property disputes relating to this matter.

Alcon acquired LenSx Lasers in 2010.

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