Opinion, Berkeley Blogs

We've seen the future of translational medicine and it's disruptive

By Steve Blank

A team of 110 researchers and clinicians, in therapeutics, diagnostics, devices and digital health in 25 teams atUCSF, has just shown us the future of translational medicine. Its Lean, its fast, it works and its unlike anything else ever done.

Its going to get research from the lab to the bedside cheaper and faster.

Welcome to the Lean LaunchPad for Life Sciences and Healthcare (part of theNational Science Foundation I-Corps).

This post is part of our series on the Lean Startup in Life Science and Health Care.

  • Part 1:issues in the therapeuticsdrug discovery pipeline
  • Part 2: medical devices and digital health
  • Part 3: describedwhat were going to do about it.
  • Part 4:This Will Save us Years Customer Discovery in Medical Devices
  • Part 5:Value proposition and customer segmentsin Life Sciences
  • Part 6:Distribution channelsin Life Sciences
  • Part 7:Revenue Streamsin Life Sciences
  • Part 8:When Customers Make You Smarter Customer Discovery in Digital Health
  • Our class talked to 2,355 customers, tested 947 hypotheses and invalidated 423 of them. They had 1,145 engagements with instructors and mentors. (We kept track of all this data by instrumenting the teams withLaunchPad Central software.)

    In a packed auditorium in Genentech Hall atUCSF,the teams summarized what they learned after 10 weeks of getting out of the building. This wasour version ofDemo Day we call it Lessons Learned Day. Each team make two presentations:

      2 minutes YouTube Video: General story of what they learned from the class

    • 8 minute Lessons Learned Presentation: Very specificstory about what they learned in 10 weeks about their business model
      • Each team closed with where they thought they were on theInvestment Readiness Levelscale
      • The instructors (all venture capitalists) then followed with their assessment of the teamsInvestment Readiness Level
      • In the next few posts Im going to share a few of the final Lessons Learned presentations and videos and then summarize lessons learned from the teaching team.


        Magnamosisis a medical device company that has a new way to create a magnetic compressionanastomosis(a surgical connection between two tubular structures like the bowel) with improved outcomes.


        Team Members were:Michael Harrison(the father offetal surgery),Michael Danty,Dillon Kwiat,Elisabeth Leeflang, Matt Clark.Jay Watkinswas the team mentor.

        Their initial idea was that making ananastomosisthats better, faster and cheaper will have surgeons fighting to the death to get a hold of their device.magnamosisThey quickly found out that wasnt the case. Leak rates turned out to a bigger issue with surgeons and a much larger market.

        To see their 2-minute video summary, clickhere.

        Look at their Lesson Learned slides below and see how a team of doctors learned about product/market fit, channels and pricing. (Dont miss the evolution of their business model in the Appendix.)

        To see the presentation , clickhere

        The best summary of why Scientists, Engineers and Principal Investigators need to get out of the building was summarized by Dr. Harrison below.After working on his product for a decade listen to how 10 weeks of the Lean LaunchPad class radically changed his value proposition and business model.

        To see the video, clickhere.

        For further reading:

          Magnamosis IV: magnetic compression anastomosis for minimally invasive colorectal surgery

          Magnamosis III: delivery of a magnetic compression anastomosis device using minimally invasive endoscopic techniques

          Magnamosis II: Magnetic compression anastomosis for minimally invasive gastrojejunostomy and jejunojejunostomy

          Magnamosis: magnetic compression anastomosis with comparison to suture and staple techniques

          Gastro.org 2013 Education Meeting