EMDT's series of interviews offers personal perspectives on the diverse and dynamic medical device technology industry. Here, we talk to Klaus Duering.
|Klaus Duering, PhD, is CEO of MaRVis Technologies GmbH, a medical device company with a proprietary platform technology that allows MRI-guided visualisation of medical devices in interventional treatments. The company is headquartered in Aachen, Germany. +49 2234 962 908 email@example.com www.marvistech.com|
Q If we were not talking right now, what would you be doing?
A I would be working on business development documentation and preparing contacts with members of the medtech industry. Most recently, my company has completed proof of concept for our novel platform technology, which enables medical devices such as guidewires and catheters to be used in magnetic resonance imaging–guided treatments. It’s an exciting new field that has interested physicians and industry for a long time but that lacked the appropriate tools to bring it to reality. The next step for us is to begin discussions with leading medical device companies to spread information about the new opportunities and look for a partner.
Q How did you get into the industry?
A I started as a chemist and molecular biologist. After a 15-year career in applied biotechnology research in the public sector, I decided to make a break in my life and switch from being a researcher to being a businessman. I have been in the life science business as a serial entrepreneur, manager and consultant for 13 years, and have experienced successes and disappointments during that time. In 2005 I came into contact with the Aachen medical technology research group and picked up several early-stage medical device projects. That led to an out-licensing contract for one company, setting up a new product development and manufacturing entity for the novel sleep apnea treatment and device called AlaxoStent, and to the foundation of the venture capital–financed MaRVis Technologies GmbH, which we are talking about here.
Q What is the best thing about your work?
A As a serial entrepreneur and manager involved with business case development and financing to IP and technology development, my work is very diversified. Collaborating with scientists and technologists is very different from meeting with patent attorneys, accountants, investors and corporate business people. I am never bored!
Q What is the most important medical device invention ever?
A That is a very difficult question. Maybe it’s best to consider this from the perspective of the patient. From that point of view, I believe minimally invasive technologies in combination with modern imaging techniques represent a key advance, as they allow so many powerful and less harmful procedures. It is my good fortune that all three medtech companies I have been involved with have focused on minimally and noninvasive procedures from a medical and business standpoint.
Q What should people give more attention to?
A Improving cooperation, being very self-critical and reflecting on the needs and positions of their counterparts. Building a strong foundation of understanding and a good working relationship are essential for successful collaborations.
Q What is the most exciting development on the horizon?
A Again, I believe the replacement of surgical procedures by less invasive treatments is a huge benefit to mankind. This concept is being pursued in so many different areas that it is impossible to single out one development as the most exciting.
Q What do you want from your suppliers?
A I am reliable in my working relationships, and I expect the same from my business partners and suppliers: discussions should be frank and open, clear expectations should be set and, most importantly, you need to live up to the expectations you have set for your business partners. Trust is the essence.
Q What are your goals for the coming 12 months?
A I intend to sign a contract with a partner from the medtech industry to continue the commercial development of the MaRVis MRI platform technology with the aim of achieving the earliest possible market introduction of the first products. As concerns the AlaxoStent, the goal is to have a successful first year and an ever increasing number of sleep apnea patients who are as happy and satisfied with their treatment as the first ones were.
Are you interested in more views on what is the most important device invention ever or what developments are on the horizon? Our interviewees work in different sectors and locations of the industry and offer a variety of perspectives. See previous interviews in the Five Minute Interview series at www.emdt.co.uk/department/five-minute-interview