Medtech pioneer Rowe, Deerfield launch $275m medical device incubator

A medtech pioneer, Stanton Rowe, and investment firm Deerfield Management said today that they’re going in on a medical device incubator backed by $275 million from the investment firm, with Rowe as CEO.

The Irvine, Calif.-based NXT Biomedical incubator plans to spend $25 million over the next five years on “cutting-edge technologies” designed to address unmet needs, with another $250 million pledged for creation of five to eight startups to be spun out of the incubator. And it’s “exploring potential collaborations with unnamed strategic partners,” according to Deerfield partner Steve Hochberg.

Rowe, who became chief scientific officer at Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) after that company’s buyout of Percutaneous Valve Technologies in 2004, played a major role in two of the top medtech innovation success stories of recent decades: cardiac stents and transcatheter valve replacements. He will stay on at Edwards as a consultant, according to a press release. Interventional cardiologist Dr. Robert Schwartz of the Minneapolis Heart Institute and “a team of experienced engineers with unique expertise in early-stage device design and development,” according to the release. NXT Biomedical is also based in Irvine, at the Cove @ UCI Applied Innovation.

See Rowe’s in-depth interview at DeviceTalks West last December, and check out this year’s slate for next month’s DeviceTalks Boston event

“I am thrilled to be leading this incubator with a broad mandate for development of varying types of therapeutic devices, which brings together the expert skill sets of the founding contributors and provides an environment for creativity, innovation and professional management. I have worked with Edwards over the last several months to ensure a smooth transition from my role as CSO at the company to my next chapter leading NXT Biomedical, and I believe this collaborative effort engaging many bright and experienced innovators may spark the success of many technologies,” Rowe said in prepared remarks.

“In an era of dwindling medical device early-stage investment, we continue to see major unmet needs that can be optimally treated with next generation medical technologies. We are elated to join Stan and his team to develop and advance clinically meaningful devices that are poised to improve outcomes and reduce cost to the healthcare system,” added Deerfield principal Dr. Andrew ElBardissi.

“NXT Biomedical provides an exciting new pathway for exceptional science to be incubated with the world-renowned leadership of Stan Rowe and Dr. Robert Schwartz. In addition, given some of the therapeutic areas of interest to NXT Biomedical, we are also exploring potential collaborations with unnamed strategic partners. As we advance these opportunities, we are looking forward to supporting each project with financial, operational and managerial expertise,” Hochberg said in the release.