2015 Annual Medical Device & Diagnostics Innovation (MDDI) Symposium

January 24, 2015

(left) The sFDA officers from Hubei province in China attended the meeting.

(right) The organizing committee chair Dr. Wei Zhang (6th from right) with speakers.

Reported by Ellen Fan, CABA

Sponsored by Chinese-America Biomedical Association (CABA) and co-sponsored by New England Chinese Information and Networking Association (NECINA) and 128Chinese Union of Technology Enterprises (128CUTE), the 6th annual Medical Device & Diagnostics Innovation (MDDI) Symposium was held on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Wellesley, MA. The objective of the symposium is to enhance interactions of biomedical professionals, embrace innovation and entrepreneurship, identify the technical and market trends to medical devices and diagnostics business in the US and China. Despite the snowstorm, about 120 participants attended the event.

The symposium organizing committee chair Dr. Wei Zhang announced the opening of the event.  The event was organized into three sessions, including "Business of Medical Devices", co-chaired by Qingqing Cao and Jian Shao, “Cutting Edge Technologies”, co-chaired by Jeff Hang and Jeannie Li, and “Medical Device Panel Discussion”, chaired by Ru Zheng.

In the first session, four speakers presented: Global Strategy in Medical Devices Business (David Wang, Head of Corporate Strategy, Covidien); The De Novo Pathway to Medical Device Market: Strategies and Tactics to Use and Avoid (Mike Drues, President, Vascular Sciences); The State Role: How the Massachusetts Life Science Center Helps Medtech Entrepreneurs Succeed (Angus McQuilken, Vice President, Massachusetts Life Science Center); and US-China Medical Device Marketing Strategy (Grace Fu Palma, CEO, China Medical Device).  Every speaker engaged the attention of the audience.  They provided ideas and actionable information that the audience was able to translate to their own business situation.   Every talk engendered a lively discussion and further ideas.  

Dr. Wang’s presentation discussed the structure and competitive landscape of the global Medical Device industry, and a personal view of the factors that drive individual success in business.

The medical device sector has outperformed the stock market as a whole.  Today, specific areas offer more or less opportunity for new investment.   The market segments that will be the winners combine pre-existing technologies, in unexpected ways, to meet people’s needs: namely improved outcomes, expanded healthcare access, and lower cost.  One emergent theme is the transformative effect of “big data” and the interconnected nature of devices.

In the second part of the talk, dealing with careers, Dr. Wang pointed out the need to engage personal development on the management and business side, as well as technology.  He emphasized the need to understand the way things work in the host society – in his own case -- by studying economics and organizational behavior.

Dr. Drues used the example of a mobile non-invasive nerve stimulation device marketed as a migraine therapy to illustrate regulatory strategy.  Traditionally, the path to regulatory approval is viewed as a set of hurdles to be overcome, and a set of strict rules to follow.  He showed by careful analysis, how seeking the lowest regulatory classification actually facilitated the rapid entry of follow-on competition.  He concluded that out-of –the box regulatory thinking could use a more stringent regulatory class as a barrier to copycat entry.  In short, careful choice of regulatory path is a competitive advantage in the marketplace.  In summarizing, he cited several well-known innovators, who challenged the existing paradigm in their field, to emerge as winners.

In the second session, speakers discussed in depth the new technologies: Molecular Diagnostics Application (Dr. Hongshan Li, General Manager, QFW Consulting Company); and Point of Care Diagnostics (Dr. Jingzhong Zhang, Medica Corporation).  During the panel discussion, Dr. Shen Luan, Director of Regulated Products at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Dr. Hongshan Li, General Manager at QFW Consulting Company, Dr. Xiaodong Wu, Consultant, and Regina Au, Consultant, shared their experiences about the medical device business in the US and in China.

The 120 attendees included technology professionals, medical doctors, entrepreneurs, regulatory specialists, research scientists and scholars, and students. Most were from the greater Boston area. Some were from other states and even China. The Chinese Consul Mr. Keifei Fu and Mr. Ding Li, from the Consulate General of P.R. China in New York, and six sFDA officers, from Huibei province in China, attended the meeting. During and after the event, the audience not only provided encouraging feedback, but also initiated many potential follow-up discussions, where investors, entrepreneurs, and company executives looked for partners and collaborations. More collaboration is expected between US and China, especially in the biomedical hub of Boston.

The Organizing Committee of the event consisted of CABA-members Wei Zhang, Jingzhong Zhang, Jeff Hang, Zhiyong Yang, Jian Shao, Xiaoyong Zhao, Bo Ying, Qingqing Cao, Liping Zhou, Jeannie Li and Ellen Fan; and NECINA member Ru Zheng. As a team, everyone played an important role.  As the Chair Wei said, “Passion and mission are the drive for everyone to implement every task successfully”.  CABA board directors, Shiwen Lin, Zhihong Chen, Xiang Yu, Phil Zhang, and Yihan Wang, though not involved directly in organizing the event, played an indispensable role by providing their total support to the committee. Many volunteers, Xue Shui, Chunxiao Yu, Qin Yang, Zuojun Guo, Yawei Kong, Yiying Zhu, and more, were involved in attendee registration, taking pictures, arranging the meeting room, etc.

The committee acknowledges special appreciation to Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare for providing the venue. Thanks to Rose Hom and all the staff of HPHC who helped set up the conference room. Thanks all the sponsors, speakers, and attendees who have made this event a success!

As the chair Wei said, “Snow predicts harvest! Snowy MDDI 2015 implies more CABA success in 2015!”

CABA is a volunteer-based society, built by its members, and serving its members. CABA is committed to promote public awareness of advancement in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industry; professional interactions in the fields of life sciences; global biomedical innovations and business development. We look forward to having more people involved in our activities, and to offering our members high quality scientific and business symposia, conferences, and workshops, as well as social events in the coming year.