02 Apr Small medical companies, a font of innovation, are feeling recession’s pinch
Until last October, InfraReDx considered itself a symbol of the kind of science-based innovation that creates durable health care industry jobs.
Now, InfraReDx represents the perils of the recession for small companies working on promising medical technologies that hospitals and insurers see as experimental. The company, which makes a laser-scanning system that locates signs of heart disease, has been through two rounds of layoffs, reducing its work force to 72 from 92. It would have run out of money this month if its investors had not agreed to a new round of investment.
“If you are not the standard device for a treatment, you’re in trouble,” said James Muller, a noted cardiologist and heart disease researcher who founded InfraReDx in 1998 and became its chief executive in 2005. Dr. Muller has been among those lobbying, so far fruitlessly, in favor of directing some of the government’s stimulus spending to medical technology companies.
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