Coridea Out to Prove Devices Can Replace Drugs - and Succeeding

Published: Dec 10, 2012

The burning question of the biopharma industry over the last several years is “where are the new drugs?” With blockbusters going off patent and investigational drugs failing in clinical trial after clinical trial, there has been a dearth of important new medications, and venture capital financing in life sciences startups has dropped like a stone. A cardiologist and an engineer believe they have found a better way, however, to move life sciences forward—with innovations that treat or cure diseases without new drugs. Mark Gelfand and Howard Levin, co-founders of New York-based technology incubator Coridea, believe that now is a golden age, not for drugs, but for medical devices. “Drugs are shotguns that hit a lot of targets, and create a lot of side effects as a result,” says Levin, the cardiologist. “Medical devices tend to be snipers. A [heart] valve replacement fixes one specific problem, and that’s it. No worries about side effects.” Plus, he says, unlike many drugs that must be taken for life, devices can often cure diseases, making them much more appealing to patients, and to payers.

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