Showing all posts written by Sabing Lee

Sabing Lee
Sabing Lee
Sabing H. Lee's practice includes strategic patent procurement, patent portfolio management, intellectual property due diligence and general counseling on infringement, licensing, international IP protection and post-grant proceedings. Sabing currently represents clients in a wide range of technologies, with an emphasis on medical devices and procedures and materials science.

In the medical device field, Sabing has worked extensively with cardiovascular, orthopedic, wound care and aesthetic technologies. He has been involved in the intellectual property strategy and acquisitions of PercuSurge, Inc. (acquired by Medtronic, Inc.), Flex-Foot, Inc. (acquired by Össur hf.), Endius, Inc. (acquired by Zimmer Holdings, Inc.), ev3 Inc. (acquired by Covidien), IDev Technologies, Inc. (acquired by Abbott), and Tornier NV (merged with Wright Medical Group, Inc.), and CardiAQ Valve Technologies, Inc. (acquired by Edwards Lifesciences Corporation).

Sabing currently serves on the Board of Directors for OCTANe, an organization that drives technology industry growth and innovation in Orange County by connecting ideas and people with resources and capital.

From 2013-2017, Sabing has been recognized as a Southern California Super Lawyer in Intellectual Property by Super Lawyers magazine. He received Star recognition in the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 editions of LMG Life Sciences, published by Managing Intellectual Property. Sabing was named to the Daily Journal's list of the Top Intellectual Property Attorneys of 2014, where he was recognized among the Top 25 Portfolio Managers & Patent Prosecutors of Intellectual Property. His accomplishments are detailed in the Awards & Honors section.

Sabing joined the firm in 1997 and became a partner in 2003.

Boston Scientific Agrees to Purchase Majority Stake in M.I.Tech as M&A Deals Are Expected to Pick Up

On June 15, 2022, Boston Scientific entered into a definitive agreement to purchase a majority stake in M.I.Tech Co., Ltd, a publicly traded Korean medical device company in the field of endoscopic and urological procedures. The agreement includes a purchase price of approximately $230 million.  According to the announcement, M.I.Tech is the creator of the HANAROSTENT® technology, a family of conformable, non-vascular, self-expanding metal stents.  Non-vascular stents can be used in gastrointestinal applications and in airways to clear obstructions or constrictions in areas such as the biliary tree, pancreatic duct, esophagus, colon, and duodenum.

Boston Scientific’s Art Butcher, executive vice president and group president, MedSurg and Asia Pacific, stated:

M.I.Tech is an innovator in non-vascular stent development, with product offerings that complement our existing stent portfolio, including the differentiated AXIOS™ Stent and Electrocautery Enhanced Delivery System and the flexible and conformable Agile™ Esophageal Stent System.  We are committed to investing in technologies that advance care for patients around the world and are eager to work more closely with M.I.Tech to expand their international footprint.

Under the agreement, Boston Scientific will be purchasing a 64% stake in M.I.Tech from Synergy Innovation Co., Ltd, whose website identifies M.I.Tech as a subsidiary and a top 5 player in global non-vascular stents.  M.I.Tech’s website also describes other products such as lithotripter baskets, polypectomy snares, veterinary stents, and glucometers.  The transaction is expected to be completed in the second half of 2022.

According to PwC, semi-annualized M&A deal value in the medical device sector is down 85% this year in comparison to the same period in 2021 when $76.4 billion was invested across 93 deals.  PwC attributes the slow-down to acquirers shifting their focus to integration and value capture activities, while the sector deals with regulatory headwinds and semiconductor shortages.  PwC expects deals to pick up across all pharmaceutical and life science sectors in the second half of 2022, with the medical device sector searching for alternative forms of revenue, particularly from new consumer-centric technologies.

Acquisition of BK Medical Expands GE Healthcare’s Precision Health Presence

GE Healthcare announced on December 21, 2021, that it has completed the $1.45 billion acquisition of BK Medical from Altaris Capital Partners.  According to the press release, the acquisition expands GE Healthcare’s $3 billion ultrasound business from diagnostics into surgical and therapeutic interventions and adds to GE Healthcare’s capability in the fast-growing advanced surgical visualization segment. The acquisition further boosts GE Healthcare’s presence within the field of precision health, which refers to the tailoring of treatments to patients based on their medical histories, genetic makeup, and other factors and has a market that is valued in the tens of billions of dollars based on an article published on GE Healthcare’s website.

BK Medical is a global intraoperative imaging and surgical navigation company headquartered in Boston and Copenhagen.  Through its ultrasound technology and software algorithms, BK Medical enables surgeons to make real-time, data-based decisions during surgical procedures, including applications in general surgery, neurosurgery and spine, robotic-assisted surgery, colorectal surgery and urology.  BK Medical has more than 650 employees and has protected its technology with more than 136 patent families.

When the deal was first announced in September 2021, GE Healthcare’s President and CEO, Kieran Murphy, emphasized:

Ultrasound today forms an integral part of many care pathways, and BK Medical is a strategic and highly complementary addition to our growing and profitable Ultrasound business. This transaction helps GE Healthcare continue to expand beyond diagnostics into surgical and therapeutic interventions, simplifying decision-making for clinicians and equipping them with greater insights to deliver faster, more personalized care for their patients—representing another step toward delivering precision health.

The acquisition of BK Medical is GE Healthcare’s second acquisition in 2021 within the field of precision health.  In May 2021, GE Healthcare announced the acquisition of Zionexa, a company headquartered in France that develops and commercializes in-vivo biomarkers for guiding targeted therapies in oncology.

IP Litigation Remains Active in the Orthopedic and Spine Industries

IP Litigation Remains Active in the Orthopedic and Spine Industries

The orthopedic industry traditionally sees significant levels of intellectual property litigation activity, and this year has been no different. One source of this activity comes from Conformis who has continued to assert patents directed towards surgical planning and patient specific instruments and implants. In 2021, Conformis filed three new complaints, settled one case, and continued another litigation. These cases have involved various companies, including DePuy Synthes, Exactech, Bodycad, Wright Medical, and Medacta.

Decisions and settlements have also been reached in several additional lawsuits relating to diverse technologies, such as bone plates, knee implants, and pedicle screws. TriMed, Arthrex, Medacta, and Zimmer are some of the companies that have been parties to these lawsuits. Alternative forums, including the use of Inter Partes Review, have also continued to play significant roles for both patent holders and challengers.

Several attorneys from Knobbe Martens – including Andrew Douglas, Jessica Achtsam, Michael Christensen, Kregg Koch, Christy Lea and Sabing Lee – presented a webinar on August 26, 2021, to discuss notable decisions from recent orthopedic and spine intellectual property litigations. The webinar was prepared in anticipation of the 2021 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the 36th Annual Meeting of the National Association of Spine Specialists and included topics such as:

  • an analysis of claim types asserted by Conformis against patient specific implant and instrument technologies and how these claims have been enforced against and challenged by many prominent orthopedic companies;
  • how statements made by a patent holder can limit the scope of their claims in litigation;
  • how small companies can leverage their patents to derive licensing revenue;
  • trade secret issues that can arise at industry meetings;
  • how prolific doctor inventors have built and enforced large patent portfolios;
  • remedies for IP disputes outside the United States; and
  • strategies for using patents defensively as part of a countersuit strategy.

The full webinar is available for viewing at this web link.

UCLA Biodesign Launches Study to Help Advance MedTech and Digital Health Innovation Forward Into a New Decade

What does it require to bring a transformational innovation to patients?  To address this question, the UCLA Biodesign Hub for MedTech and Digital Health has launched an industry-wide study to uncover the cost and time to achieve regulatory and reimbursement approval in the United States and to understand the impact of regulation and reimbursement on the advancement of medical technology and digital health innovation. The last time such a study was conducted was over ten years ago.

The study is led by a research team out of the UCLA Biodesign Hub, in partnership with the life science innovation ecosystem and with support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. This independent study interviews medtech and digital health regulatory executives to examine trends, establish benchmarks for time and cost to bring transformative technologies to patients, and to inform future decision-making on regulatory and reimbursement.

The questions being explored include:

  • How long does it really take innovations to get to market?
  • Is breakthrough designation breaking down regulatory barriers to access?
  • Is the U.S. keeping pace with Europe, Japan and China?
  • Do digital health and AI/ML have a clear path to market?
  • Is reimbursement the new barrier to innovation?
  • What is next on the regulatory and reimbursement horizon?

Learn more and schedule an interview to participate as a thought leader and build a consensus for innovation policy at www.medtechstudy.com, or contact a member of the research team at info@medtechstudy.com.  Participation will help to establish benchmarks and inform future decision-making for similar companies, and an industry report will be presented at leading conferences in 2021.

 

UCLA BIODESIGN IS SEEKING INNOVATIVE PROFESSIONALS FOR ITS 2021 FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM

 

UCLA Biodesign is currently inviting professionals in engineering, medicine, design, computer science, and business to apply for an exciting year-long fellowship, starting in the summer of 2021, associated with the world-class resources at UCLA Health.  Now in its 2nd year, UCLA Biodesign fellows will join a team of like-minded healthcare innovators and leaders on a three-stage development process, from the identification of meaningful clinical opportunities, to invention and solution development, and to the initiation of a new venture.

Launched in 2019, UCLA Biodesign’s first class of 10 fellows included two UCLA Health faculty members and eight postgraduate professionals from engineering, business and medicine.  The program expanded in 2020 to include two tracks – the Discovery Track and the Accelerator Track.  The Discovery Track includes 8 fellows who will start with three months of clinical immersion followed by nine months of product development.  The newly formed Accelerator Track is geared toward the in-residence clinical entrepreneur or technical innovator with a mature idea or concept, and includes 10 fellows. All fellows will receive mentorship from industry experts in areas such as product development, business development, corporate venture and intellectual property.  Mentorship in intellectual property will include guidance from IP experts and Knobbe partners Rabi Narula and Sabing Lee.

UCLA Biodesign is led by Co-Executive Directors Desert Horse-Grant and Dr. Jennifer McCaney.  Desert is on the executive leadership team at UCLA Health and is Senior Director, UCLA Health Research & Innovation.  Jennifer is an Assistant Director of the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and UCLA Anderson School of Management and a leading expert in disruptive technology and entrepreneurship in healthcare.  Together, they are looking to train the future leaders who will develop the groundbreaking innovations to solve the most complex medical needs.

Further information on UCLA Biodesign can be found at biodesign.ucla.edu.  A great interview with Desert and Jennifer, conducted by Lisa Carmel at industry partner Ximedica, can be found here.