What began as a potential first quarter headwind for medtechs manufacturing in China has evolved into a global crisis representing unprecedented challenges and unforeseen opportunities for companies across the sector grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the week since U.S. authorities mobilized an effective shutdown of American cities and communities to slow the spread of COVID-19, nine companies have received emergency use authorization from FDA for tests to detect the novel coronavirus as of Friday morning. Those test developers, whose efforts hinge on waning availability of testing supplies, are still urgently trying to boost manufacturing capacity and speed of results, with no point-of-care tests yet OK'ed by the agency.
Manufacturers of other critical care supplies like ventilators and personal protective equipment have also been thrust into the spotlight, as the reality that U.S. demand will far outstrip supply comes sharply into focus.
Medical device companies that aren't necessarily on the frontlines of coronavirus response are also feeling the impact from the now-close-to-home crisis. Besides a massive hit to stock valuations, medtechs have largely lost their ability to carry out standard in-person sales operations, and the elective procedures that involve so many lucrative medical devices have been put on hold for the foreseeable future.
We've rounded up some of our recent coverage below.