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So my name is Paul yak I'd like to welcome you on behalf of bio design and the Fogarty Institute were co-sponsors of this evening session and it's a special session maybe you noticed from the advertisement that this session is in honor of Tracy. Left off some of you knew. Tracy well he was an active participant in this meeting had a tremendously significant career at PricewaterhouseCoopers where he created many mergers high-level transactions in the medtech and pharmacist passed away tragically early and this session is in his memory I want to. Mention to you that we're going to be recording the session so if you could please put your cell phones on silent and I want to thank Casey McGlinn and Wilson Sonsini for sponsoring the session and with that oh I want to mention up front. That we will have an opportunity for questions at the end and then we'll break out to a reception the reception is going to be outside here so with that I'm gonna turn it over to David kassick who will introduce our distinguished guests for tonight. Thank you Paul my own here yeah so so we're delighted to have Jason field here with us I think everybody knows the name Gore I'm not certain Harry if you'll know or really understand what Gore is doing. In the world of medical devices and medical technology and that's what we're going to spend the next 50 minutes or so talking about so just picking up on that theme Jason Gore's roots are not in med tech per se a button broader applications can you give. Us a little history of I know it predated your arrival of course give us a little history of where Gore came from okay be happy to thanks for the opportunity to be here really appreciate being with this esteemed group there's some real thought leadership in the room yeah so speaking of thought leadership bill Gore was certainly one. Of those individuals and you know our origins were really in application of PTFE and you know Bill Gore was at DuPont at the time TFA being Holley touch of fluoro ethylene which is a plastic fluorinated polymer and yeah we have a tech person here with the least tech. Person possible on earth so I may ask you to explain some of you do you have a veterinarian here. You do not have an engineer by. Your side so you know we may we may have some gaps on me on the technical front but there's some expertise in the room but you know interestingly Bill Gore had this you know what I would characterize his real vision for applying these materials to really have a meaningful impact on society and he saw very early. On a lot of different opportunities to you know to apply that polymer and we started really in the wiring cable business he was you know and really his wife Eve too it wasn't just Bill I. Mean they were absolutely a couple that came forward and in a very entrepreneurial way and I think what really stands. Out about him was the breadth of capability they brought you know these are they made kids in college bill Gore quit DuPont bill and veve actually physically built their home with their own hands that became their first manufacturing facility where they started this wiring cable. Business and from there they just saw ditional applications for PTFE and expanded the technology base so we I think we all know even if you know you're not in med tech about gore-tex one of the qualities of PTFE what does gore-tex what are the qualities that make it a special thing around which you could build an. Enormous business so we're we're we. We I wouldn't say stumbled upon. Where we came upon gore-tex was really when we went from PTFE to expanded PTFE that was an important part of our of our history and that came to pass we yes probably in the in the mid to late 60s we decided to get into plumbers tape plumbers tape plumbers. Tape yeah pipe thread tape and you know I guess as the story goes we took a big order and the cost structure was out of whack so we were looking for ways to stretch the PTFE to make more with less and Bill Gore son Bob was working on you know really trying to refine the process. To improve that cost structure was working I. Think through you know using different different temperatures to try to expand the PTFE and wasn't having any. Success developing process windows got frustrated and yanked on a rod a PTFE and expanded it and you know the implications have really changed the microstructure and it went. From you know relatively solid rod. Of PTFE to this thing that was. Composed of nodes and in fibrils with with spaces in between and that's what's really been that was probably our first sort of you know curve jump if you will from a growth standpoint we really started to see a lot more applications for the technology by virtue of our ability to then start to modify that and those new. Applications were not necessarily in the cable and wire but we're in like clothing and mature and you know materials and that kind of stuff. Yeah so the gore-tex you know question in particular you know the porosity that existed you know or those fibro stretch between the nodes allowed us to control really allow you know water vapor to go through keep moisture out and that's really been foundational that control of the porosity has been a. Really important component of our technology so again I know this is before you got there and we'll get into how you got to Gore in just a minute but if that's the late 60s or mid to late 60s by the 70s Gore was in the medical device medical applications tell us how that came about and and specifically how what. Was it about PTFE that lent itself to the gore team the idea that there were medical applications there okay so I can't be a little more prescriptive with dates the expansion occurred in 69 okay on the heels of that we started to look at you know different different forms if you will so you know fibres membranes and. One of the forms that was worked on actually was was developed in Flagstaff Arizona was a tube and as the story goes Bill Gore started carrying this PT expanded PTFE to barand with him and. He was invited to speak at a I think a cardio thoracic or cardiac surgeon meeting in Denver any of this tube with them and went skiing with a physician and said hey you know any if there's any application for this as a graft for you know vascular disease and that led to that physician starting to do. Some in vivo and vitro work and first implant first commercialization I think was in 75 and that was really origins of our of our medical device business so what were the what were those a bachelor guys but but anywhere where there was a vasculature or were. They specifically around certain kinds of graphs first one was I believe hepatic portal vein I think that was the the very first implant and. You know from there really the orientation has been towards you know arterial repair or hemodialysis so talk about how you got to Gore because as you said your veterinarian by training inside practice at that time when did you what was your early interaction with Gore before joining the. Company and how did that how did you transition into a role at the company yes I was owned and operated this. Large animal veterinary practice I was working on sport horses primarily. And horses yeah sort of money was yeah and a lot of my clients health likes that's pretty small community or about 70,000 people and 2,500 associates and in Flagstaff so a lot of my clients he'll work or associates and you know a couple things stood out as I started to develop relationships with. Them you hear about you know some of the exciting things that they could talk about that they were working on from an R&D standpoint and you know you just sort of notice the character these people and you know I was really. Drawn to them you know kind of a shared value system like being around them like working on their horses and an opportunity arose to you know sell my practice sell the real estate with it and and go to Gore and. Step into an R&D role and you know as an attractive opportunity to me as a veterinarian you're sort of inventive by necessity you know we've got pretty limited resources to try to do a lot of different things and the idea of getting into an environment where you know I'd spend time with really smart people being a veterinarian can. Be pretty isolated particularly a horse veterinarian so what were. The early applications of the gore technology in graphs and was there an obvious veterinarian app that a veterinarian medicine application or were you coming in doing human anatomy and stuff like that yeah there was not. A strong connect my connection from from a horse standpoint was I did try to use a gore-tex membrane to treat a condition called thrush that horses getting their feet where you're trying to kind of manage infection and moisture didn't work but that was just. Dabbling with the technology a little bit when I came into Gore I actually came in working on the bioabsorbable platform with a product called seam guard and spent my first almost two years with that product I absorbable grafts no is a staple line reinforcement okay yeah for. General surgical so you started as an R&D researcher there or role we call product specialists probably most akin to a product manager but with a little more of maybe a clinical. Technical orientation so where was the medical applications business I'm pausing around the term device I mean you can guess. These are graphs alert devices devices so. Where was it where in the where was the medical device business within Gore at that point what was the. Reception of the marketplace to graphs based on Gore ticket and were there you talk about. Stapling line we were there other applications that Gore was exploring at that time yeah so I joined an absolutely fabulous time there's a lot of little elements to this I you know as we think about innovation that I got exposed to that I feel really fortunate to have. Had the opportunity to to engage but I joined as I said in the general surgery business which what had happened was that vascular graft business grew and sort of got to maturity and plateaued a little bit. As is that business started to Plateau this general surgery business were working on ventral hernia repair we. Were working on stapling reinforcements some other products was really starting to you know drive some growth I came in when we brought in complementary technology to really boost that vascular graph business so the general surgery business was then starting to plateau and from a vascular graft standpoint we'd. Entered we entered into a partnership with a company called Pro graft here in the in the Bay Area and that partnership with Pro graft where we married our graph technology with their know-how around night now in catheters allowed us to really get into. Catheter based technologies and and again was another big opportunity for us to to jump a growth curve so what what was the adoption of the gore graphs in the early early on I mean what would you do you have a sense. Of what the competition was like what were the other materials what were the other grafts made out of for the most part polyester has been our you know primary source of competition in obviously in hemodialysis it's a it's native it's it's fistula first but really polyester has been. The the main source of competition from a material standpoint and and what is special about about the gore technology that makes it a superior graph to to the to polyester I. Appreciate that you're giving us superiority just like free that's awesome record correct me if I'm wrong I absolutely believe it you know it's um it's really it's it's different right you if you think back to the days of polyester and having. A pre cloth the porosity is quite different with with PTFE it's it's almost completely by owner so from an implantable standpoint it's a it's a great material set and then our ability to both manipulate the microstructure and bond different constructs together to create different sort of properties within an implantable. Differentiates it so we don't for example our stent frame we don't suture our stent frame to the graft it's bonded through a process so where some of the early failures were you know suture hole leakage you know we didn't. Have we had other issues but we didn't have have those types of issues and you know from a durability standpoint you know I feel pretty confident saying that you know our products have been pretty unmatched yeah I mean I toss that up as a softball unwittingly but I. Just meant to say why would anybody prefer or use a Gore vascular graft over you know the polyester competition yeah what are the special features of it that make it desirable or make surgeons want to use it it's a so a combination if you fast forward to today and you. Know kind of bouncing. Back and forth between vascular graft and aortic graft you know one really managing occlusive disease the other trying to keep the the vessel from rupturing. So different different attributes and different applications you know Peyton sees Ben you know a real hallmark of our vascular grafts and our ability to covalently bond heparin to our grafts in the recent past. Has improved that patency and really brought it to be pretty competitive with you know with with native native tissue so just the product performance is a big piece of it probably as important as that is just our approach in general to how we think about product performance and for our bar for fitness. For use you know we being in med tech every you know we all have a fitness for use mindset we all believe our products need to need to deliver to a certain performance criteria and it's the regulator to such may be. Some of the uniqueness of Gore and you know some of what we've learned over the years is commitment to the technology and the application has allowed us to always really stay on top of iterating our devices to continuously prove improve. Its performance so talk about how the the medical device business at Gore. Has evolved and. Developed over the years you joined what what year did you join the 2005 you joined in 2005 so you've got they are almost 15 years in the 14 years where was Gore in. Terms of its product breadth and range in 2005 and and and how different was that from those initial applications that came about in the 70s and then we'll. Ask how its evolved since 2005 okay yeah so in 2005 we were just really getting rolling we were in that you know sort of h2 phase scaling up our our interventional businesses both a or. Tick and peripheral so we had Ron were primarily a cardiovascular business at that point we're primarily a vascular graft business at that time and we had this general surgery business as well we were really moving into you know being a. Little broader than that and yeah that was the I mean it was an incredibly exciting time we brought in capability from from gaiden in particular that. Really helped us kind of orient towards how to compete in this interventional market so we had a region-wide capability are you talking to people or you to my technology people talking about people so there's the technology component of the night now on the catheters night. Now again coming from Pro graft and you know catheters to some degree ultimately the acquisition. Of Adam Spence was was the strong catheter piece for us when did that happen. And what was that technology exactly that was 2004 where we actually acquired Adam Spence braided. Tubing catheters that really you know enabled interventional interventional products but the people stuff was it was as important as the technology you know the we had a woman come in who had a real understanding of market. And in sales and engagement what it was going to take. To really go from a you know very small sort of mom-and-pop sort of operation to you know an enterprise that that can compete with some of the some of the biggest interesting. Industry players so that said you said because I mean it from the description you're offering it seems that this was a very science materials based mentality and suddenly you had. To think about how do we develop products for the market what was that transition like and particularly for you did you have a sense of if we have an interventional cardiology interventional vascular business I should say and and. We need to be bigger we want to be bigger how did Gore rapid mind around that that effort I mean you brought people in but what was that process like did you have people suddenly thinking differently about what the business. Was it you know it's easy to look back and sort of paint. A rosy picture of what happened it happened it was fast and furious and it was all hands on deck and we are still very much to this day a very technically oriented or indeed noble Rd driven enterprise organization but. What's happened is that sort of that humility that engagement has really had a positive impact on our commercial operations it's allowed us to develop really deep relationships with the physician community which has influenced both how we go to market but then also how we develop into markets so that's you know it's an evolution. We really I think created an opportunity for us to expand our breadth by virtue of how we matured through that time so when you and I were talking on the phone a while ago you talked about. Some some of the challenges that Gore faced early on in this medical business and if these events dated from the you know 70s 80s and 90s or from the period when after you arrived but but can you talk about what some of those early challenges I want one. Around the triple-a business yeah you know we had we had challenges in almost all of these technologies when we came to market I. Think it just it highlights. How just the fortitude to bring these products to market and the the type of leadership required that I was just like privileged to you know be mentored by but you know one example and I would say is our thoracic aortic graft and you know and that in. That design we had a longitudinal spine wire on her stent frame to give the device column strength and that's fine wire we noticed it was fracturing and some of the the very. Early implants no clinical sequelae whatsoever but that's fine wire was fracturing and you know it's tough when you're sitting there you're bringing this technology to market you see this complication patients aren't having an issue and that decision of you know do you withdraw do you stay in the market ultimately we withdrew that product from. The market that resulted in that was probably late 90s early 2000s so it was coming back onto the market when I when I joined Gore and we destroyed a lot of relationships with physicians who felt like this was a product that you know was allowing them to make a difference for patients who were. Not eligible for surgical repair we were acting out of an abundance of caution we weren't comfortable with the fitness for use the performance of our products trying to do the right thing and meanwhile get sort of disconnected with the physician base that you're trying to stay close to ultimately we redesigned the. Graft it was another opportunity for us to apply our technology so by you know using our materials in a different way we were able to develop and and deliver that column strength through PTFE rather than rather than the spine wire and brought it back to market. That was the time I got to join was the scale up where you know we're entering into the US market with that graphed and did physicians come back I. Mean you said they were a little shaken. Perhaps in their relationship with yeah with Gore but did they were you. Able to convince them that you fixed it and it was time to come back you know by and large yes but not entirely actually you know that was it was a big impact particularly in Europe and who is your competition at. That time Medtronic Cooke were primarily are our competitors and why do you say particularly in Europe was there something about the physician culture in Europe that made them more leery of no it's just that point in time where we were we were commercial in Europe and you know in in clinical trials in the US so let's talk. About your ascension at at at Gore you came in in. Around 2005 and then you started the R&D how did you progressed through through the corporation without a lot of intention it's bit you know is largely what I would characterize is is chasing opportunities I guess I still I did and still have a really strong affinity for the technical side of. Things but I have gravitated away from it over time largely by virtue of just seeing opportunity to make an impact so Rd - you know when I say R&D it's that at that project ie product management type thing moving into more of a general management business type capacity which you. Know had some of that in my veterinary practice and I started to miss it and I like the people leadership components and was really drawn to it from their marketing then sales and then when did you become CEO almost one year ago to the day well that's great congratulations on that so what. Were some of the challenges what were some of the opportunities. I mean as you as you thought about it is is Gore still a very much an RD technology driven company I. Mean there are other challenges that companies face in terms of expanding their business when you think about where Gore is today is it really about product line expansion and extension is it about developing new materials. How do you think about what Gore does really well I think it's it's. Yes to all of that so what we do really well is. I think you know two things one our sort of commitment to each other our commitment to our customers how we think about how we think about going to market how we think about solving you know real problems that make an impact in society I think is something that really drives. Us we are still very much a technology company so connecting our technology to those opportunities to make an impact that's the that's the motor the drive score and at the same time we are at this place that many companies get to where you know we've got a lot of in. Us in particular we're incredibly diversified we've got all these niche products where we've solved unique problems and you know we've got to find a way to scale and when companies like us start trying to scale you start. You know running the risk of really stifling that that creative spirit that innovative spirit and that's a lot of what we're wrestling with right now is you know we're have an immune reaction you know to a large degree is an enterprise to trying to drive some of the process discipline that's required to automate if you will so I was. Gonna save this question for later but let me ask it now since you since you you've taken us in this direction and I wonder why scale is important to you in the context of a medical device injury that has seen tremendous consolidation over the course of the last five years you know particularly in the cardiovascular side of things and. Even Franklin general surgery you know we've gone from a very very you know diverse competitive landscape to one where really you know you could count on one hand the companies with significant market share in the space how does a company like what a scale mean to a Kumbi like Gordon how does Gore compete in. That kind of environment yeah so it's I mean it's a complicated question for us because at the end we are we are not just a medical device company at the end of the day we are a technology driven company that has you know we're looking for opportunities to make an impact through our material capabilities and it just. So happens that healthcare has been one of. Those applications that's been really meaningful to us you know we've made a consciousness. There's no way we're going to scale and compete with with Medtronic it's just not what we do it's not what we're good at it's not in our core we we will continue to look for opportunities to develop products that really make a meaningful impact that we can stand behind we understand the application and. It ties to our competencies that's our that's what we do when I talk about scale and some of our challenges it really speaks to you know we've got our fabrics division our medical products division we've got many different industries we operate in within our performance solutions division and you start thinking. About WL Gore broadly speaking within the enterprise broadly you start thinking about simple things like IT applications. Or marketing capability that stuff is really expensive and you know if you start replicating that capability 20 30 40 times for each individual business the cost structure gets out of control so we've got to find ways to create some synergies across those businesses and really enable this sort of distributed. Decision-making that has been key to you know our innovative spirit back off the side where where are the synergies with businesses that are much more industrial or you know consumer oriented in their their focus I mean. Do you basically operate as a as. A as a medical device silo or are there resources within Gore that you can draw on we have largely up until recently operated as a medical device silo to a large degree. The the exception and the the common thread or the red thread the cuts through everything is our technology base and we have a core technology unit that really feeds all of the divisions and that's the that's the piece that's always been the. Connector if you will across the divisions or now though. Starting to look at you know if you think of our our ERP system and our financial. Reporting you know you can't spend one hundred million dollars you know ten times on an ERP system you know you've got to find ways to do these that these programs that cut across the enterprise so give us a sense of how the medical device business of Gore is. Structured today how many different markets and when I say markets defined either in terms of call points or or technologies or product lines do you play in and how how's the organization structured we've it's pretty straightforward we are we're a pretty focused pretty focused group we've got. This general medical products business it's pretty mature and what is. That what what is include what devices are included in that business so it's largely ventral hernia repair minimally invasive hernia repair some wound care stuff staple line reinforcement this is that business our vascular business is been really our growth engine consists. Of our peripheral interventional products and our otic products and then we have a developing cardiac business around structural heart so those are our three main businesses and what product lines are the structural structural heart business so the set our septal cleaners are our primary product so core septal occluder. Not a very catchy marketing name but Gore septal occluder is the is the foundation of that business and we've just expanded an indication for that for that product to address BFO stroke which has been a real put us on a real growth trajectory there so that's been pretty exciting so how do you think about where your goes next. In terms of it feels to me. And and correct me if I'm wrong be glad to that there's a lot of niches in which product areas. Where there could be expansion in other areas or you could go into wholly different clinical spaces I mean we didn't mention women's health or orthopedics or lots of other different areas when youth without getting into things that are. Proprietary or might reveal something you're not don't really talk about how do you think about where you're gonna grow next I mean is again in this in this world. In which we're seeing tremendous consolidation and economic buyers kind of wanting to work with fewer and fewer vendors how does a company that is built on niches valuable niches but niche. Technologies how do you how do you think about where you are you're gonna go next so we're we are pretty clear that in order for us to compete you know with smaller portfolio of products we have to have meaningful. Differentiation we have to have value creation for all of our stakeholders so that's at the that's at the core of our of our strategy we're generally looking in two different areas one within the markets. We serve today we maybe get after. Some portfolio breath that would be complimentary from either a portfolio standpoint a service standpoint or a technology-based standpoint so looking for opportunities to really take advantage of of the market access we've earned with our with our existing portfolio we also have you know a. Really strong incubator both within medical and outside of medical looking for opportunities to push technology into new healthcare. Market is that incubator located in the medical device business or is it in Gore overall and how do you how do you get them if it's if it's the the latter within the larger Gore structure how do you get them to kind of focus on the medical applications so we have actually two distinct incubators you know this. Has been a really important lesson for us if if we're going to grow we have you. Know really been students a lot of the of a lot of the key influencers many of which you know residing in this area but we have absolutely taken to heart that we have to isolate dollars in people in order to really incubate new ideas so we have an. Incubator within the medical products division that operates within a set of. Guardrails in terms of market and then we have an incubator that's more broadly within our enterprise that has actually a few different components to it it's not just organic pulling on our technology we've got the Silicon Valley Innovation. Center here that's really focused on partnerships we've got a small group working on venture engagement. Where you know that's less about investment and more about exposure to technology and then we've got another group looking at it BD so so those are all kind of great questions and you know we're here in the center of small start-up technology. How much of the new technology that is coming out of born now will come out of Gore and the future will be driven by internal R&D and. How much will come about either through investment in small companies or acquisition of small companies we mentioned the addams sense fence deal which was decades ago is Gor an active acquirer these days or how does it look at how do you look at the landscape of innovative startups that that are out there and and could possibly contribute to. Gore's portfolio you know we have been fortunate to be we've been on this incredible growth journey and it's almost all been driven by you know organic development you know we've had this complimentary technologies come. In that have been catalysts to growth but a lot of this has been organically driven. I think we are. Getting to a point that where we recognize the breadth of technology that needs to come together to solve a lot of the the issues that we see out there we're not going to be able to develop all those capabilities internally so partnerships and. Acquisitions will become increasingly important to us we don't have a depth of capability and acquisition we've done a handful here and there you know we've got some equity investments but it's it's not necessarily a core competency for Gore our core competency is pushing our technology into new applications so we'll continue to emphasize that. But we'll be looking for ways to augment our our offerings when you and I spoke you you made a point several terms of talking about the kind of special culture in a very. Very innovation driven very passionate culture of Gore and I wonder that maybe you can elaborate a little. Bit on that I know it was one of things that attracted you to go in the first place but do you think that culture presents challenges or obstacles when you then look outside for technology that doesn't come out. Of Gore itself yeah I mean my I think all of our cultures present their own their own challenges you know we're we're fortunate our culture is so deeply in over. Six decades you know into this thing and some of the core tenets of our culture have you know we're really put in place at the very beginning you know we've got a handful of principles that really create sort of. A social construct that we operate within. And it contributes to a very really a very innovative culture and a culture where distributed decision-making is you know predominant when things are working well but again you get back to the scale thing and you know you overlay regulatory you overlay compliance you overlay all of these requirements that you know. Sort of evolved over the years since this culture was really envisioned by Bill. And V Gore and you get layers of leadership to get in the way of some of the some of the magic that is you know helped get us to where we are. Today so that's that's some of our biggest challenges how do we you know foster this innovative spirit sort of that that individual engagement individual commitment sense of responsibility willingness to take risk when you know you also have internal controls that try to keep things in check a big challenge for us so when you think about a medical device. Is that at its roots in the 70s grew out of the PTFE technology does your future product line expansion business line expansion arrests on PTFE does it will you be looking for other kinds of. Technology bases which to go in order to fill market gaps or or how critical is that kind of cord Gore technology there may be other core core technology that you can fill us in on how how important of those core technologies to your future expansion as. Opposed to say for instance using the incubator or the business development function to look outside and what has been Gore's kind of technology sweet spot you know it'll be a combination of both I would characterize our core technology is much broader than PTFE today it's really around material science and a lot of our operation we're. Still finding ways to process polymers that allow us to do things that you know we wouldn't even conceive of even three four years ago so it's you know it's really exciting to see that we've still got. A lot of gas in the tank in. Terms of you know what we do really well we are also absolutely actively looking for ways to you know broaden that base to technology okay that's great so and might that come in other clinical areas or art again are there gaps within the kind of core vascular business that and general surgery business that you that you'll be. Focusing on going forward yeah you will absolutely see you know some expansion in a very focused way and you know maybe it's important to note that you know as we. Think about healthcare we also have a set of businesses scaling up in bio pharmaceutical applications you know really meant to support drug delivery in many different ways or bio pharmaceutical processing so healthcare for us is much broader again tying back to our material capabilities and there's a lot of room between you know cardiovascular. General surgery and and. Biopharma and what we can do with materials to really enable solutions so essentially I mean are these drug delivery technologies or because I would think that again if you're talking about new opportunities and challenges particularly for a company that that you know has been more focused on specific materials niches that a second to. Segue into into biopharma must be enormous ly challenging just because it. Biopharm is such a different industry in development timeframes and and you know just kind of technical challenges then then medical devices how would you think about a bio pharma business again if we talk about scale bio farmers on a just completely. Different scale than yeah in you know quite fritz totally. Isolated from our medical business at this point in time as it located in. Flexpa it's not it's located in Newark Delaware we do leverage some of our capability that we. Have in Arizona that's really grown up in the med tech space but even with that you know to your point there are some distinct differences and you know will incubate that different that business in in different ways is it a drug delivery application specifically or are you looking for novel compounds that novel therapeutic compounds. So there's a variety of products I mean everything from you know some of them. Aren't quite to market yet but you know everything from you know stoppers for syringes for glass syringes that you know for drug delivery and that type of application to storage to filtration for biopharmaceutical processing so there's a there's a pretty Bart broad portfolio again the the red thread. That cuts through all of them is you know our ability to manipulate polymers to to create unique solutions for those that we're gonna we're gonna open this up to questions in just a minute but I wonder if then you seem to be talking about Gore's being at a. Kind of inflection point it's growing nicely there's tremendous opportunities going forward again without getting proprietary in terms of specific technologies how are you thinking about the future of Gore and and and where where it's going again within the context of a medical device industry that seems to be pricing scale on a significant level. Or at least consolidation on a significant scale yeah it's it's hard to answer you know a lot of this stuff isn't quite quite or you know fully disclosed at this point in time but we see a lot of opportunity and then I want to be respectful. Of that you don't say stuff that you don't want to say but but generally speaking you know when you think about going forward yeah I mean our I. Appreciate the continued push where our interest is is you know we really see ourselves as having a unique ability to play in the cardiovascular space in particular and there are some other opportunities again that will probably require more partnership where we marry up our technology with with. Other capabilities to to expand the space of business these partnerships within other Gore capabilities or with with outside beside these outside well great I think it's a. Fascinating picture of a company that again I at least was not a smooth we're gonna open the field the floor for questions right. Now and I think there's a microphone if there's. Not just shout your question while waiting for and let me just go back to one I wonder if you can elaborate on the incubator structure because we tend to think about incubators as next you know as as you know outside of the context of large established companies but there have been a couple that have done very. Well Edwards has had has an incubator just just again go back over what those incubator functions are like in core yeah it's you know it's still early days for us you know to a large degree we're following sort of the you know the Lean Startup methodology it's working really. Well I think for actually the the non healthcare applications where you know R&D cycle times are faster and there's less regulation and we're also having some success on the. Healthcare side but you know it's just the the principles that are talked about here and in the valley quite a lot of isolating the resources committing the resources not letting compete with with the commercial businesses making sure that we're bringing together different disciplines. Connecting sales with our with our technical community getting them out of the building and you know really force the work in. The business model canvas and it's actually been pretty productive we're developing some good process discipline but we've got a long a long way to go the other thing I would highlight again and. Just reinforce is it's it's not only the organic piece it's this the role that the Silicon Valley Innovation Center is playing and testing partnerships we're making some micro equity investments to you know develop relationships and support startup so it's a it's a it's a new thing for us to be looking externally as proactively as. We have been in the last probably 18 to 24 months and are those investments that you're making within the Silicon Valley entity it's all strategically driven or they are they more. Kind of white white paper kind of let's look at areas that we don't know that we're in right now but it could possibly want to be in it's a little bit of both I mean it's you know a lot of our emphasis is on digital health care you know in the valley and you know trying to grow a capability. That I was a material science company that's not our you know our basic capability so we're trying to complement some of what we deal with a lot of the capability that exists everybody I mean digital is such an important in such a hot topic today but I wouldn't think of about I'm trying to wrap my mind. Around what kind of digital again I don't bring you over to reveal a corporate secret see I'm trying to figure out what would be a digital plane for company. Like or just simple example you know if you think in terms of wearables or patches using our you know porous materials managing micro fluidics to get to flexible circuitry to you know help you know one example we're working. With a company on detecting electrolytes. And sweat to understand you know with temperature to understand the impact on industrial workers you know in. Terms of are they getting overworked and how do we manage their. Overall health and effectiveness so just one example great are there any questions. From anybody in the audience anybody the question Jason here's one of the in the if it may say so I I consider auric replacement. What are the more high-risk implants how do you manage risk to in development with such products I was a little bit of what I was alluding to earlier I mean it's you manage. Risk with courageous leadership and you know a sense of conservatism always doing the right things for the patients I think that's what it comes down to at the end of the day is the is the leaders and how they step in the room you know when you're faced with the issues that that inevitably arise and when we. Step through many. Of them over the years one advantage of advantage but one thing that has I think been at the core of our ability to manage the risks through the years is you know we are privately held in family-owned and have very little pressure from an economic standpoint when it comes to doing the right thing. When we step in. A room and it is everybody's oriented to impact a patient's and what's the right thing to do and that's the conversation every single time and. That's the core of our risk mitigation and then from there you get into more of the formalities of you know utilizing the processes that that we put in place to make sure. We're managing risk but it starts with associates and leadership that are that are committed to. The right thing and I don't think that part. Of managing risk of correct me if you disagree is the willingness to look at a novel project a novel area and and be comfortable with not succeeding in that in that area and because I feels. Like a lot of what Gore has a lot of internal growth has come through kind of incremental steps building on existing technologies and exists is existing. Businesses and it's easy that when you when you go outside to do that the risk just ratchets up enormous Lee it does and you know we have a we do have. A risk oriented culture when it when it's working on if you look at you know our most significant innovations you know more broadly than just than just med tech they have come through incredible personal risk and enterprise risk to really get where we are. Today goes back to Bill Gore's original decision to leave DuPont to set up core don't be a bore absolutely. I think that the distinction I would make is it's not a you know it's not necessarily culture that tolerates failure it's a culture that tolerates learning and that's the that's the piece that's really important you know we're willing to take a risk and fail but you darn well better be. On and up to that failure and learn it from. It it's a very nice distinction any other questions from folks in they want to use and there's one there and there but you've got the microphone so why don't you go first yeah so at what. Stage do you typically engage. With small companies or startups and is that is that often Gore approaching other companies or vice versa could you give us a flavor of how that works are you receptive to you know so state I mean pitches from small companies absolutely right up. Here are you know just by virtue of our size you know we're not a Boston Scientific we're not a J&J Medtronic you know we have a really strong bias to early tech you know we generally can't afford or at least haven't made you know the four or five seven hundred million dollar investments. Or into the billion-dollar investments it's just not sort of within our you know the. Balance of our growth strategy at this point in time so we'd like to invest early we'd like to invest in technology and we. Like to invest in technology that's complementary to you know the the. Competencies that we have in our in our enterprise and we're absolutely open to solicitation and we we engaged as I. Said through venture relationships and then also through the Innovation Center the other thing I would say is we you know we have a lab and we're working. To open this lab to startups to try to invite and engage you know early startups you don't quite have the capital to keep things going to you know participate in our environment perhaps get a little bit of mentorship and utilize some of our equipment you. Know in exchange for you know teaching each other and and building relationships and you're looking for for potential partnerships. Investments with with companies that have a strategic fit but how much of that is around materials and how much of that is simply around kind of new market opportunities it's it's both yep over here certainly seems to be advantages to being a privately held company and avoiding the public scrutiny do you think though that being. A private company will prove to be a challenge with your acquisition strategy you know it could if we I I think if we were to be really competing later-stage you know with with mature with mature products trying to really augment our portfolio we might have some challenges competing but maybe not we haven't tested that and I. Think you know our experience to date would suggest that a lot of targets are actually pretty attracted to to go or as a company and I think a. Lot of that has to do with our privately held nature. And just how we operate mm-hmm let me just fill in one piece on the previous question you mentioned not only incubators but that you have a business development person what's the best path into Gore if I if I have a really something I think is really interesting and might fit in the Gore's Gore's portfolio where might I we're. When I go in the company to to test the interest on your part our Silicon Valley Innovation Center is a great port of entry you know. Here in Santa Clara and that's a conduit into not only med tech but all of our Oliver Industries excellent here's another question go to other questions we'll go there and we just repeat that question because why don't you grab the. Microphone that's being taped thank you so as a materials company. I would guess they're plenty opportunities to license technology to other enabling where is an enabling technology to other companies so how do you think about selling and licensing materials for metric versus your own product line you. Know we have it different points in time had om businesses to to license out materials or be a supplier we've really moved away from that just by virtue of focus and some of the opportunities we've had in front of us to you know we're we're you know fully vertically integrated that's where the big opportunities been and. We just haven't had the resources and bandwidth to continue to engage in OEM in that capacity so we'd entertain it in the future there could be business models and partnerships that might be more attractive than they. Have been in. The past but in terms of the the OEMs we've operated in we've kind of moved away from most of them we've got a couple that are ongoing but but not too. Many let me have one more question over here we hear a lot in the valley that people don't invest in tech but teams and I think it's well-known that Gore seems was. Seen have disrupted the hierarchy of teams so what is it about the way you guys structure your teams that draws Talent such as yourself and lends itself to innovation and you know the synergy that seems to come out of the company so. A big part of. It is what you tend not to experience and gorse is really heavy-handed leadership there's an awful lot of autonomy a lot off a lot of freedom you get enough rope to hang yourself very early in in your career and you've got to manage that and to be successful in Gore you've also kind of have you. Gotta have a little bit of self-awareness so you don't overstep and you know take too big of a risk and you know kind of sink the ship if you will but I think what's really attractive people is that opportunity to really express their creative energy. And make an impact both within. The within the enterprise and then also more broadly in society I mean this orientation we. Have two connecting materials to societal impact it's a big draw for people you know it's much bigger than the dollars it's about it's about walking outside and seeing our products and like you can hardly go through a day without engaging a. Core product it's in it's incredibly powerful to be part of this enterprise and see the impact we have. Through our different industries that we operate in that's the draw for me wait do we have any other questions so I was gonna say one of the question which is that when you and I talked on the phone you mentioned that one of the things. About your very very R&D oriented and there weren't a lot of technologies developed for when you were veterinarian there weren't a lot of technologies developed for veterinarians isn't veterinarian a medicine a logical place for. Gore to go next probably not okay great well Jason. Thank you very much very much appreciate your coming out and sharing your thoughts with us about Gore and thank you all for coming and there's a reception that I think will be held right. Out to our left on the balcony so thank you very much thank. You David cruciate.

 


W L Gore and Associates Company News

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