Nish Chasmawala and Amit Sharma have more than two decades of experience, both are veterans of the medical device industry having successfully commercialized multiple devices into the global market. In January 2008, their paths crossed when both of them enrolled for the Stanford University's Biodesign innovation fellowship. They struck a chord and decided to startup themselves. Amit and Nish spent over 1,000 hours at hospitals and clinics across India and USA. As a result of their vast immersion, a strong desire to solve an un-sexy yet large latent need of fecal incontinence emerged, leading to the formation of Consure Medical in early 2010. The company raised a seed round in 2012 and is now ready with their device. We got in touch with Nish to learn all about it and their journey while building the device.
YS: Hello Nish, tell us about Consure, the device and the development process.
Nish Chasmawala: Consure Medical makes elegant solutions for yucky problems! Fecal Incontinence (FI) is an ubiquitous clinical problem in care facilities across the globe. Although FI is a benign condition, its clinical sequlae are often devastating to both the patient and the health system.
During inception, the company prototyped and evaluated more than 150 unique concepts to arrive at a solution that can be used without the need of a doctor, diagnostic imaging or skilled nursing staff. The design emphasis was on versatility, hygiene and compassionate care. This has resulted in superior clinical performance and from an ease of use perspective nurses absolutely love our product!
Consure 120 SMS is a first of its kind product that is indicated for patients from ICU’s to nursing homes. The company has successfully completed its safety and efficacy studies at a premier tertiary care hospital and is getting ready for commercial launch. The company has established scalable manufacturing that is compliant with FDA, CE and ISO requirements.
YS: What market are you targeting? What is going to be the distribution channel?
NC: FI is a $5 billion plus global opportunity with about 16 million patients in India and more than 100 million patients worldwide. As part of its launch strategy, the company will be piloting the product at index sites in India and USA. Initially, the company will focus on patients in ICU’s and general wards, as they offer the fastest path to revenue. Step-down units, nursing homes and at-home patients provide a significant expansion opportunity for Consure. Besides absorbent pads, globally there are no products available outside critical care facilities.
Consure’s products are on the convergence of sophisticated medical devices and elegant consumer products. The company intends to do early technology pioneering and raising awareness with a lean internal team, before collaborating with geography specific distributors for scale-up distribution. Series B finance will be used to launch the product and build an executive team to scale operations.
YS: How was the certification and patent process?
NC: Consure Medical has recently achieved some major regulatory and IP milestones. The company’s patents have been granted in USA, EU, Japan and Singapore. The company has also recently received its FDA clearance for marketing the product in USA – a unique distinction amongst medical device startups in India.
The company has followed the same ‘Design Control’ methodologies that are implemented by large companies like Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic. Consure’s extremely stringent development and manufacturing process has enabled them to establish world-class clinical evidence and quality systems that can withstand the rigor of any regulatory agency.
Healthcare for family members is a sacrosanct value for all Indians. Families do not make health decisions on cost alone. Consure’s team believes that in today’s healthcare industry, technology leadership is not defined by the size of its patent portfolio. While patents may enable certain early transactions, to make a truly transformational impact in healthcare, it is imperative for companies to simultaneously demonstrate irrefutable clinical evidence and health-economic benefit to hospitals.
YS: How is Consure funded?
NC: The company’s Series A finance was provided by IAN, India Innovation Fund and India Venture Partners. The company has also benefited tremendously from significant grant financing from Indo-US Endowment Board and Grand Challenges Canada.
YS: What is the revenue model?
NC: The company will steadily scale its commercial operations in 2015 and will be profitable by 2017. The company is targeting $40 Million in revenue by 2020.
YS: What is on the roadmap?
NC: The company is developing a portfolio of products for the management of fecal incontinence in non-ambulatory patients. Consure is also developing a platform of technologies to address other diseases of the lower GI and provide compassionate solutions for critical care nursing.
Our goal is to touch 100 million lives in 10 years!
YS: What do you think of the medical device space in general?
NC: Fortunately or unfortunately, medical device’s is the only industry we know!
The medical device ecosystem is changing fast in response to the radical changes in the health systems across the globe. It is extremely important to remain lean and generate adequate clinical evidence before looking at institutional finance. Large multinationals are looking to generate a third of their revenues from emerging markets alone. MNC’s are also looking at emerging market startups to evaluate some novel distribution strategies.
Similar to the Apple’s and Google’s of the world, there are more than 10 medical devices companies with at least one billion dollars parked outside of the United States. This capital will be deployed towards the future growth of their company, which is a boon for young emerging companies. A lot of the east facing venture funds and sovereign funds are looking to make long-term bets on pure life sciences companies and not infrastructure plays.
Website: Consure Medical