ConvaTec taps Bitar as CEO | Personnel Moves – March 26, 2019

Convatec CEO Bitar

ConvaTec (LON:CTEC) said today it tapped Karim Bitar as its new CEO, set to take the position on September 30.

Prior to joining the U.K.-based medtech company, Bitar served as CEO of agricultural biotech company Genus, holding the corner office position for approximately eight years.

Before his time with Genus, Bitar spent 15 years in various roles with Eliy Lilly, serving as prez of Europe, Australia and Canada.

“I am delighted to announce Karim’s appointment as chief executive officer of ConvaTec. He is an experienced and highly regarded leader with an excellent track record of delivering impressive results and transformational change within similar businesses. The board and I are very confident that Karim is the right person to lead ConvaTec through the next stage of the company’s development,” board chair Christopher Gent said in a press release.

“ConvaTec competes in attractive chronic care markets and has a solid portfolio of products and services. I am excited by the opportunity to lead ConvaTec to stronger and sustainable rates of profitable growth. ConvaTec has the potential to achieve market leadership across its franchises, by focusing on innovation and execution excellence and by leveraging its global presence,” Bitar said in a prepared statement.

 Monarch Medical names Lisanti as prez & CEO

Monarch Medical Technologies said yesterday that it named Bruce Lisanti as its new prez & CEO, replacing Linda Beneze who retired from the position.

Prior to joining the Charlotte, N.C.-based company, Lisanti has held leadership positions with a number of high-growth technology companies, including GE.

“On behalf of the board, we first would like to thank Linda Beneze for her contributions while leading Monarch and wish her all the best in her retirement. To continue the execution of the company’s vision, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Bruce Lisanti. With his extensive experience leading high-growth healthcare technology companies, Bruce is well-equipped to take the helm of Monarch and drive the continued advancement of the EndoTool Glucose Management system to help providers improve their clinical and financial outcomes through effective glycemic management,” Eigen Capital Holdings managing member Christophe Mallard said in a press release.

“I’m very excited to be joining Monarch at this moment in the healthcare industry and work with this phenomenal team to advance inpatient diabetes care. As more hospitals face financial pressures under value-based care payment models and increased competition with the rise of healthcare consumerism, the need to improve inpatient diabetes care is no longer just what is in the best interest of the patient, but also the provider’s bottom-line. EndoTool is well positioned as a proven solution to enhance the safety of insulin dosing, improve patient outcomes, and reduce the cost of care, benefiting both patients and providers,” Lisanti said in a prepared statement.

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 Baxter Americas prez Eyre to retire

Baxter (NYSE:BAX) said last week that its Americas president and senior VP Brik Eyre is retiring, effective June 30.

Eyre will be replaced by current global businesses prez & senior VP Giuseppe Accogli, the Deerfield, Ill.-based company said in an SEC filing.

Baxter said that Eyre will stay on as a non-executive in an advisory transition to support the transition, and that both Accogli and Eyre have begun to work on transition.

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 Micron Solutions CFO Welch retiring

Micron Solutions said last week that its existing CFO, treasurer and secretary Derek Welch has tendered their resignation, effective April 19.

The Fitchburg, Mass.-based company has not yet revealed plans to replace the departing finance head.

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 Fresenius creates global medical office

Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE:FMS; ETR:FRE) said last week that it named Dr. Frank Maddux as its new global chief medical officer and Dr. Robert Kossmann as its North America chief medical officer as part of the creation of a global medical office within the company.

The Waltham, Mass.-based company said that it is also lifting current Fresenius Kidney Care chief medical officer Dr. Jeffrey Hymes to the position of North American clinical and scientific affairs senior VP.

Fresenius Medical Care said that the newly created global medical office will look to advance teh application of clinical science and help spread knowledge across the company’s international network.

Maddux has been with Fresenius since 2009, and has held positions including clinical & scientific affairs exec VP and Fresenius NA chief medical officer.

Kossmann joined Fresenius in 2014 to oversee clinical research, development and distribution of products and pharmaceuticals within the company throughout North America, the company said.

“The creation of a global medical office under Dr. Maddux’s leadership will help us coordinate the interpretation of clinical science and medical practice patterns on a global basis. Delivering on our commitment to improve the quality of life of people living with kidney disease, Dr. Maddux and his team will pursue evolving medical opportunities, such as a more focused home offering. Dr. Kossmann and our great team of clinical leaders at Fresenius Medical Care North America will work to make an even greater impact through this improved global collaboration and focus on innovation,” Fresenius Medical Care NA CEO Bill Valle said in a press release.

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Baxter, Biomérieux ink acute kidney injury biomarker dev deal

Baxter

Baxter (NYSE:BAX) said today that it inked a partnership deal with Biomérieux looking to develop biomarkers to identify acute kidney injury.

The partnership was announced at the International Symposium on Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine, Deerfield, Ill.-based Baxter said.

Both companies said they hope to develop the biomarkers to help rapidly identify and inform treatment of acute kidney injuries, which can lead to death if untreated.

“We’re committed to improving outcomes for critically ill patients across the continuum of care, which includes identifying opportunities to diagnose AKI earlier so a patient can receive the best therapy. By working with the team at Biomérieux, we’ll be able to combine their expertise in diagnostics with our experience in bringing the latest medical advancements to the ICU,” Baxter acute therapies biz GM Reaz Rasul said in a prepared statement.

“As a leader in pioneering diagnostic solutions, we’re looking forward to collaborating with Baxter to address the important challenges in critical care medicine such as AKI. In order to accomplish this, the team at the recently-acquired Astute Medical is committed to the development of additional high medical value biomarkers for improved patient care,” Biomérieux chief medical officer Mark Miller said in a press release.

In January, Baxter said that it acquired healthcare software developer True Process.

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Baxter cleared from DoJ antitrust saline probe

Baxter

Baxter (NYSE:BAX) said yesterday that it has been cleared from a U.S. Dept. of Justice antitrust probe, launched in 2017, investigating companies that market intravenous saline solutions.

The probe came as hospitals endured a shortage of intravenous saline solutions, which are used to hydrate hospital patients. The shortage dates back to late 2013, after drugmakers told hospitals they might experience delays in deliveries of saline.

 Read the whole story on our sister site, Drug Delivery Business News

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Baxter acquires software developer True Process

BaxterBaxter (NYSE:BAX) said last week that it acquired healthcare software developer True Process.

The company’s Vines software platform is designed for bedside data collection and normalization, according to a report from BizTimes.

Founder Todd Dunsirn, who reportedly left the firm after the acquisition closed, told BizTimes that the company’s software aims to connect the various devices that monitor and collect patient-related data in a hospital.

At one time, True Process had roughly 50 employees – half of whom worked remotely for client ICU Medical – and pulled in $10 million in revenue.

Most of the company’s remaining employees were hired at Baxter following the buyout, according to Dunsirn.

“We acquired True Process because we share a passion for innovative technologies that advance smarter and more personalized care,” Baxter said in prepared remarks.

Earlier this month, Baxter launched an FDA-cleared trial of its on-demand peritoneal dialysis solution generation system that’s designed to allow patients to make peritoneal dialysis solutions in small batches at home.

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Baxter launches on-demand peritoneal dialysis solution device trial

Baxter

Baxter (NYSE:BAX) said yesterday that it launched an FDA-cleared clinical trial of its on-demand peritoneal dialysis solution generation system intended to allow patients to make peritoneal dialysis solutions in small batches at home.

The system is designed to use a small water filtration device, concentrates and Deerfield, Ill.-based Baxter’s Amia automated peritoneal dialysis system to turn a patient’s tap water into dialysis solution as needed for therapy sessions.

Baxter said that it has enrolled the first patient in the trial, which looks to assess the efficacy and safety of the new system for participants over 12 weeks. The company said it hopes to use data from the trial to support a New Drug Application for the concentrates and 510(k) clearance for the device.

“We are on a journey to transform how kidney disease is identified, managed and treated, with a focus on improving outcomes for patients. Our on-demand technology is the cornerstone of our innovation pipeline, as we believe the technology will open up new possibilities for therapy delivery while improving the experience for patients today,” renal care biz GM Laura Angelini said in a press release.

In November, Baxter said that it expanded its share purchase program to $3.4 billion.

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Analyst downgrades pressure medtech stocks

thumbs downSeveral medical device companies took hits yesterday after analysts on Wall Street downgraded their stocks, on a day when the major market indices each closed up a hair, and even medtech firms that enjoyed upgrades came under pressure.

Globus Medical (NYSE:GMED) suffered the most after Morgan Stanley analyst David Lewis cut his rating on the stock from “overweight” to “equal-weight,” sliding -8.5% to a $39.61-per-share close yesterday, compared with the prior day’s closing price.

In fact, Lewis’s downgrades led the pack in terms of impact, taking Insulet (NSDQ:PODD) and Hologic (NSDQ:HOLX) shares down some -7.4% and -6.5%, respectively. Here’s a look at some of yesterday’s downgrade action:

DOWNGRADES
Company Analyst Old rating New rating Close 1/2/19 %
Globus (GMED) Morgan Stanley Overweight Equal-Weight $39.61 -8.5%
Insulet (PODD) Morgan Stanley Hold Hold* $73.43 -7.4%
Hologic (HOLX) Morgan Stanley Equal-Weight Under-Weight $38.42 -6.5%
Abbott (ABT) Citigroup Neutral Sell $69.50 -3.9%
Medtronic (MDT) Citigroup Buy Neutral $87.92 -3.3%
Henry Schein (HSIC) Robert W. Baird Outperform Neutral $76.39 -2.7%
Smith & Nephew (SNN) JP Morgan Overweight Neutral $36.40 -2.6%
Bayer (BAYN) JP Morgan Overweight Neutral $17.40 -1.0%
*cut price target

The upgrade picture was murkier, with a trio of medical device companies taking hits despite upgrades, but three others gaining (including a bullish move from Lewis on shares of Baxter (NYSE:BAX)):

UPGRADES
Company Analyst Old rating New rating Close 1/2/2019 %
Tactile Systems (TCMD) Northland Capital Under Perform Market Perform $44.59 -2.1%
Stryker (SYK) Evercore ISI In-line Outperform $154.50 -1.4%
Zimmer Biomet (ZBH) Citigroup Neutral Buy $102.28 -1.4%
Bausch Health (BHC) Piper Jaffray Neutral Overweight $20.23 0.1%
Baxter (BAX) Morgan Stanley Under-Weight Overweight $65.30 0.8%
Citigroup Neutral Buy
Apollo Endosurgery (APEN) Northland Capital Under Perform Market Perform $3.65 5.8%

By way of comparison, the three major U.S. market indices all closed up a hair yesterday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing up 0.1% at 23,346.24. The S&P 500 also closed up 0.1%, at 2,510.03, and the NASDAQ index ended at 6,665.94, up 0.5%.

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Senseonics CFO Elsey to retire | Personnel Moves – December 4, 2018

Former Senseonics CFO R. Don Elsey

Senseonics (NYSE:SENS) said yesterday that its CFO R. Elsey is retiring for the company, and that it has begun searching for a permanent replacement.

The Germantown, Md.-based company said that Elsey will stay on until a replacement is appointed, and remain on in an advisory role through to the completion of the company’s 2018 fiscal year.

“Don has been an important part of the growth of Senseonics as our CFO, and we thank him for his service and high level of professionalism throughout his tenure at Senseonics. Over the past several years, we have successfully completed an IPO and subsequent capital raises, enabling us to execute product launches in Europe, continue our pipeline development initiatives and position the company for a successful commercial launch that is underway in the U.S.  Don has contributed much to all of these efforts, and we wish him well in his next pursuits,” prez & CEO Tim Goodnow said in a prepared statement.

“It has been a pleasure working with the dedicated and talented team at Senseonics. I am proud of what we have accomplished and am confident the company is on a solid path toward delivering life changing technology to people with diabetes,” CFO Elsey said in a press release.

 Accuray names Hamamatsu as CFO

Accuray (NSDQ:ARAY) said late last month that it appointed Shig Hamamatsu as its CFO and senior VP, effective immediately.

Prior to joining Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Accuray, Hamamatsu served as corporate controller and VP at molecular diagnostics company Cepheid  before they were bought by Danaher in 2016.

“Shig has a proven track record of more than 15 years building and leading public company global finance organizations that drive results. I look forward to working with Shig as strategic financial partners to execute Accuray’s growth agenda,” prez & CEO Joshua Levine said in a press release.

“I am excited about my role and appreciate the opportunity to serve as Accuray’s chief financial officer during this transformative time in the company’s history. I look forward to working with our entire executive team and leading the company’s finance organization as we execute our growth and earnings expansion initiatives,” Hamamatsu said in a prepared statement.

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 Hill-Rom adds to exec roster

Hill-Rom Holdings (NYSE:HRC) said late last month that it tapped Barbara Bodem as its new CFO and senior VP, succeeding Steven Strobel who announced plans to retire from the position.

Prior to joining Hill-Rom Holdings, Bodem held a senior VP of finance position with Mallinckrodt, Chicago-based Hill-Rom said.

“We are pleased to have an executive of Barbara’s caliber joining the Hill-Rom team. Barbara brings more than two decades of financial experience along with a deep knowledge of our field from her work with large global medical companies. I am confident that she is a great fit for our company, and will play a key role as we continue to build our diversified portfolio to drive sustainable earnings and deliver on our long-term objectives. On behalf of our entire management team, I want to thank Steve for his significant contributions to Hill-Rom. He has built a strong finance organization, contributed significantly to our financial performance, and positioned us to continue to achieve our financial objectives. I’m grateful that he has agreed to work with us for the next several months to ensure a smooth transition,” CEO John Groetalaars said in a prepared statement.

“I am honored to join Hill-Rom, and look forward to working with John and the rest of the leadership team to build on the company’s momentum and deliver strong financial and operational results, while helping to improve outcomes for the patients and caregivers around the world who rely on Hill-Rom’s products,” Bodem said in a press release.

In addition, Hill-Rom said that it appointed current corp dev & strategy senior VP Andreas Frank as its new Front Line Care biz president, replacing Alton Shader, and current investor relations VP Mary Kay Ladone was appointed as corp dev, strategy & investor relations senior VP.

“Andreas and Mary Kay are seasoned professionals who know our business inside and out. We’re thrilled to tap into their talent and expertise for these roles. I am confident they will help Hill-Rom capitalize on our strong momentum and growth prospects,” Groetalaars said in prepared remarks.

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 Former HHS head Price to join Ga. Gov’s transition team

Former Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price, who resigned following a controversy over their use of a private jet, is joining new Georgia Gov.-elect Brian Kemp’s (R) transition team, according to a report from The Hill.

Price is slated to aid in policy planning during the transition, according to the report.

“Obviously he’s got a lot of great experience with healthcare. No one is more experienced with legislative matters than Tom Price and certainly his time in D.C. as well, so he’s a valuable member of our team, but we’re going to continue to work with a lot of different people on healthcare,” Kemp said, according to The Hill.

Price resigned from his position as U.S. HHS Secretary under President Donald Trump in September amidst criticism over using a private jet paid for on the public dime.

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 Baxter controller Karp resigns, Stevens steps up

Baxter (NYSE:BAX) said last month that its controller & senior VP Carloline Karp has resigned from their position to pursue other interests and business activities, and that it added Brian Stevens as its new chief accounting officer, controller and SVP.

Prior to joining Baxter, Stevens served as chief accounting officer with Groupon, the company said. Stevens is slated to hold the position until a successor is elected and qualified, the company said in an SEC filing.

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Baxter expands share repurchase program to $3.4B

BaxterBaxter (NYSE:BAX) said yesterday that it expanded its share purchase program to $3.4 billion.

The Deerfield, Ill.-based company approved a $2 billion increase in authorization for the company’s existing share repurchase plan.

Baxter also declared a quarterly cash dividend of 19¢ per share of common stock to stockholders as of Dec 3, payable on Jan. 2, of 2019. The company’s indicated annual dividend rate is 76¢ per share of common stock.

“Baxter’s strong balance sheet allows us to serve our shareholders by investing in growth as well as returning value through dividends and share repurchases,” CFO Jay Saccaro said in prepared remarks.

Last month, Baxter shares fell after the healthcare company missed estimates on Wall Street with its third-quarter sales results and cut its revenue outlook for the rest of the year.

Baxter posted profits of $544 million, or $1.00 per share, on sales of $2.77 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30, for a bottom-line gain of 116.7% on sales growth of 2.2% compared with Q3 2017.

The company raised the low end of its earnings outlook, saying it now expects to report adjusted EPS of $2.98 to $3.00, compared with $2.94 to $3 previously, but cut its sales growth guidance to 5%, down from 6% previously.

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Baxter touts Hemopatch, Floseal study results

Baxter

Baxter (NYSE:BAX) today presented results from studies of its Hemopatch and Floseal products, touting reductions in costs and hospital stays in both trials.

Results from studies of the devices were presented this week at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research Europe 2018 meeting, the Chicago-based company said.

In a retrospective observational analysis exploring pancreaticoduodenectomies which used the company’s Hemopatch hemostatic-sealant, investigators in Spain found that the device “might be an effective and cost-beneficial additional treatment compared to the Standard of Care alone.”

Results indicated that the use of the Hemopatch lowered complication rates, reducing postoperative pancreatic fistula rates by 23.1%, biliary fistulas by 7.7% and hemorrhages by 7.7%, Baxter said. The use of the device also reduced hospital stays by a mean of 4.8 days and reduced costs by approximately $10,676 or 23% per-patient.

In a separate study analyzing retrospective data on 15,105 propensity-matched pairs of spinal surgeries in the US, researchers found that the use of Floseal alone was associated with fewer blood transfusions, lowered blood-related complications, shorter hospital stays and shorter surgical procedures.

The study compared the cases in which Floseal was used as the sole topical adjunctive hemostat as compared to those where Floseal and other topical hemostats were used.

Researchers in the study developed a cost consequence model to calculate cost savings associated with better outcomes and lowered resource uses, Baxter said. Results indicated cost reductions of $2,445 per spinal procedure.

“Advancing the science and understanding of issues facing patients and hospitals worldwide is a priority for Baxter. The findings shared this week provide real-world evidence for how clinicians may help improve clinical outcomes while increasing hospital efficiency,” medical affairs VP Dr. Dheerendra Kommal said in a press release.

Late last month, Baxter saw shares slip in pre-market trading after the healthcare giant posted third-quarter sales that missed the consensus forecast on Wall Street and cut its sales outlook for the rest of the year.

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Baxter dips on Q3 sales miss

BaxterBaxter (NYSE:BAX) shares slipped today in pre-market trading after the healthcare giant posted third-quarter sales that missed the consensus forecast on Wall Street and cut its sales outlook for the rest of the year.

Chicago-area Baxter posted profits of $544 million, or $1 even per share, on sales of $2.77 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30, for a whopping bottom-line gain of 116.7% on sales growth of 2.2% compared with Q3 2017.

Adjusted to exclude one-time items, earnings per share were 80¢, 6¢ ahead of the average on The Street, where analysts were looking for sales of $2.78 billion.

“Baxter’s third-quarter performance reflects the benefit of our ongoing efforts to enhance operational excellence and innovation at the company,” chairman & CEO Joe Almeida said in prepared remarks. “While we remain confident in Baxter’s longer-term financial outlook, we have experienced a slower-than-expected return to pre-Hurricane Maria purchasing levels across certain businesses, as well as an impact from distributor de-stocking for select products that has depressed our top-line performance in 2018.

“Our commercial teams are working diligently to address customer needs and recapture these sales, and we remain focused on relentless expense management across the company. In parallel, we continue to pursue capital deployment opportunities to fuel organic and inorganic growth that will help drive increased value for patients, healthcare providers and investors,” Almeida said.

Baxter raised the low end of its earnings outlook, saying it now expects to report adjusted  EPS of $2.98 to $3, compared with $2.94 to $3 previously, but cut its sales growth guidance to 5%, down from 6% previously.

BAX shares, which closed down -2.4% at $68.66 apiece yesterday, were trading at $64.18 today in pre-market activity, down -6.5%.

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