Ardian – A Case Study in Value Creation

Image representing Ardian as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

I’m surprised that there hasn’t been more written about Ardian since their sale to Medtronic last month. It may be the largest venture-backed medical device exit to-date. Ardian’s $800M-plus-milestone-payments may end up being larger than Medtronic’s purchase of CoreValve for $700M-plus-milestone-payments in 2009. Even more unusual was Ardian’s relatively early-stage. At the time of sale, CoreValve had implanted devices in 2,600 patients at 125 centers in 25 countries. Ardian exited much earlier, with about 150 patients treated.

Overnight sensations don’t happen overnight. While Ardian seemed to come out of nowhere in 2009 and exited large in 2010, the truth is that the company had been hard at work for almost 10 years. Ardian achieved more than 10X return on $66M invested – at least $732M of value created, before milestones. While the end of the story is still unwritten, Ardian’s first few chapters form a great case study for medical device entrepreneurs and investors.

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Hospital-Employed Physicians and Medical Device Opportunities – Update

Steen Doctor and His Patient
Image via Wikipedia

A few weeks ago I wrote about the growing trend of physicians being employed directly by hospitals rather than in private practices, and how this trend impacts medical device opportunities.  Last week the Wall Street Journal published an article “Medical-Device Firms Lose Clout As Hospitals Buy Practices” which is well worth reading.  This week, PWC released a report “Health Reform is Driving Hospitals and Physicians Together.”  Have you analyzed the impact of this trend on your medical device market over the next few years?

Stock Options – Wilson’s Rules

Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures
Image by aquababe via Flickr

One of my most popular posts concerns employee stock options  (see Stock options – everybody in the pool).  Last week, Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures described his formula for granting employee options, on his blog AVC. Everyone gets options, according to his transparent formula.  Makes a lot of sense to me, and I’m sure it will for you.  Read his post here.