Healthcare SPAC Targeting MedTech Files for a $200 Million IPO (MedTech Download)

Kelly Springs-Kelley
December 02, 2020
Investment groups are eyeing medtech.

Key Takeaways

  • A new SPAC targeting medical technologies in the US healthcare sector has filed for a $200 million IPO.
  • Fitbit has published data on its new algorithm that can detect COVID-19 before a patient presents symptoms, aiding in diagnosing the virus earlier.
  • Researchers at ETH Zuricha announced they have created tiny locomotive microrobots that can function as vehicles to deliver drugs or aid in surgical procedures.

Healthcare SPAC MedTech Acquisition Files for a $200 Million IPO

Fundraising is a critical component for the vast majority of medtech startups out there. Rarely do companies begin with sufficient capital to take their products through each stage of development and on to commercialization. So when launching a startup, considering both efficacy and ROI related to bringing that product to market is critical. If you want funding, you cannot have one without the other. Any investor will need to clearly understand your path to adoption and profitability.

When it comes to capital, companies look to a variety of sources, from angel investors to venture capital firms. However, this year, special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) have emerged at an unprecedented rate. The Financial Times reported that US SPACs raised $41.7B in the first 9 months of 2020, representing 44% of all public offerings. And some are targeting medtech, most recently MedTech Acquisition, which recently filed for a $200 million IPO. The company indicates that it “intends to complement the experience of its management team, primarily focusing on medical technology companies in the US healthcare sector.

Fitbit Data Suggests Potential for Early COVID-19 Detection Using Wearables

The use and development of digital health platforms and digital therapeutics is increasing dramatically. Patients and physicians continue to report positive outcomes from these technologies, from treatment to disease prevention. And the good news doesn’t stop there. Investors also see these as financially-viable by showing the potential for, and producing positive, ROI.

In addition, many digital health platforms and algorithms live in technologies that already exist in the mainstream. Recently Fitbit published data on its own effort to utilize its wearable technology to detect COVID-19 infection. MedTech Dive reports that “researchers showed variables such as respiration rate and heart rate change in the days preceding the emergence of symptoms of respiratory disease. With a reported 90% sensitivity, the algorithm may detect 21% of cases the day before symptoms show.” And with a continued need for early and accurate detection, an additional weapon in the public health arsenal is worth celebrating. 

Interlocking Metals and Polymers for Magnetically Controllable Therapeutic Microrobots

Some medical technologies can, at the time of their emergence, seem closer to science fiction than reality. In fact, medtech entrepreneurs have even been inspired by the imaginations of Sci-Fi writers, taking the most practical parts of fantasy and translating them into very real advancements. 

One area of medical technology that often scores high on the fantastic meter is microtechnology. Researchers have been developing microbots for years with varying degrees of success. Recently, the team at ETH Zuricha announced that they had created tiny microrobots with interlocking polymer and metal parts that are controlled via magnetic fields. And they aren’t stopping there. According to Medgadget, “The researchers plan to apply the same technology to develop stents that can be positioned and then unfold in place, also using magnetic fields.” Click here to learn more or watch the video above.

Experts: HHS Review Proposal May Free Industry From Regulatory Red Tape

Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a new rule. It proposes that in department regulations that are subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), the Department must review the regulation every ten years. The rule goes on to say that the regulations will expire if the Department does not assess and review them in a timely manner. 

While the department asserts that the proposed rule would incentivize HHS to ensure intended benefits, experts tell MedTech Insight that the move “could lift some burdens from the medical device industry, but warned that the full effects may not be seen for some time.” And the data show that this could be the case. The HHS website reports that “an artificial-intelligence-driven data analysis of HHS regulations found that 85 percent of Department regulations created before 1990 have not been edited,” potentially suggesting that some could go by the wayside.

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