A Med Tech Story

From University science lab to Global Corporation

Setting the Scene

At the forefront of highly innovative science, the Medical Technology market is booming. Coulter Partners has had a significant presence in this buoyant sector and has worked with many of the key players. In 2003 we were introduced to a PE backed Medical Technology start-up. Founded in 2001, the company was born out of the University of Cambridge where scientists were developing first-in-class synthetic bone repair materials.

Helping to structure growth

In 2003 we hired a new CEO for the company, whose goal was to commercialize an outstanding and novel technology in the orthopaedic space with a particular focus on the spine. Backed by a syndicate of VCs at the start, there were frequent value inflection points at which decisions needed to be made on whether to expand the team and build commercial infrastructure or whether to sell the business. We were subsequently hired to place a President of US Operations and several VPs and Directors for the commercial and R&D functions. The company won EU approval for their product in 2002 followed by FDA approval in 2004. With £6.5 million in venture capital funds led by MTI and continued investment from 3i, they were able to set up a US subsidiary to sell bone graft substitutes directly to the US market.

The Importance of People

“People were the overall factor contributing to our success. While we required exceptional researchers to produce innovative science, we also needed talented individuals with commercial experience to market our products… Importantly, the people we recruited to build the company were all willing to take a big leap of faith.” Co-founder.

In less than ten years, this client grew from a UK- based university start-up to a multi-million pound business supplying synthetic bone graft materials to surgeons worldwide. Named Britain’s fastest growing MedTech company from 2007 to 2009, by The Sunday Times, and Europe’s fastest growing Life-Science business in the Deloitte 2009 Technology Fast 500, the business also won the Frost & Sullivan 2009 North American Device Biologics Company of the Year award.

In March 2010, a US healthcare giant, bought the company for $330 million. Coulter Partners has been their strategic partner during the transition from product development to full commercialisation stage.