27 June 2017

Does a Booming Transcatheter Valve Market Mean More or Less Jobs?

By Ben Thompson By Ben Thompson

After seeing this trend become more and more apparent, I found myself wanting in. Attracted by the innovative technology and the vast potential of this niche, I decided to practice my recruitment skills in this space. And I’ve not looked back.

Over the years I have watched this market boom, and it’s still growing due to an increase in patients with severe aortic stenosis.

This global growth has made competition far fiercer, with the market more saturated than ever. As a result, mergers and acquisitions (M&As) have become frequent occurrences and we’ve even seen a few companies go bankrupt.

But what does this mean for the job market in the Transcatheter Valve space?

Don’t get me wrong M&As can be great for the clinical community. For example, the acquisition of Symetis by Boston Scientific will lower prices for hospitals and possibly lead to better treatment for patients. However, they often spell trouble for the job market.

Larger corporate companies are always looking to streamline operations to create more profitable business models. Usually after an acquisition, integrated employees are asked to leave.

Even when two companies come together with complimentary product portfolios, it doesn’t necessarily mean that jobs are safe. Just look at the Abbott Vascular buyout of St Jude Medical, which has led to an abundance of layoffs. More are expected to follow.

It’s not all bad though. From a recruitment perspective, there are two sides to the coin. These acquisitions mean that I can work with a variety of top-class candidates who have been made redundant through no fault of their own. So, there’s rarely a lack of talent available.

The drawback, however, is that there are fewer companies to network with to find these individuals a new position. However, even this has provided me with some exciting opportunities. To find work in the space for my candidates, I’ve had to explore other innovative areas within the field and have been able to work with some incredibly exciting start-ups.

Carillon Device, Manufactured by Cardiac Dimensions

So, what’s next? Similarly to TAVI, the TMVR market is set to grow dramatically over the next 5 years reaching a value of ~$3Bn by 2022. I’d like to think that over the next few years, this will have a direct correlation with the amount of companies receiving CE mark/FDA approval, leading to more commercial roles becoming available to market these new products. However, so far, market expansion has led to commoditisation, large companies monopolising markets and fewer jobs.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Where there’s innovation, there’s hope. The TMVR, as well as even more advance technologies such as Transcatheter Tricuspid Valves & Structural Heart related Embolic Cerebral Protection, are expected to come tearing into the market soon, bringing with them a whole variety of new positions.

Whatever the future brings for this growing market, it’s clear that the talent is out there, which presents a great opportunity for companies looking to improve their teams and gain an edge in the fiercely competitive space.

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Ben Thompson

Ben Thompson leads CM Medical, managing a team of recruitment consultants that specialise in a variety of medical device markets. As a Director and a founding member of the Charlton Morris Group, Ben has a wealth of experience building teams for some of the biggest names in the industry.


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