Why ResMed’s CFO chose Osteopore as his first chairman opportunity
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
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Special Report: Upcoming IPO Osteopore (ASX:OSX) will be ResMed CFO Brett Sandercock’s first crack at a chairman position — but he’s not joining for a title, he’s joining because the company shares similarities to the healthtech behemoth.
Osteopore’s tech is essentially 3D printed scaffolding which is used to assist bone healing.
The scaffolding is inserted into the bone being repaired, and the elaborate porous structure created through the 3D printing allows the bones to re-grow around and through the implanted scaffold.
The scaffold is printed from a specialty polymer chosen for its biological properties, as the scaffold can naturally dissolve as bone heals around and through it.
With its products already US FDA (510k) cleared and CE Mark approved for cranial facial application, Osteopore’s tech has been used in 20,000 treatments to date, making considerable traction after $13 million in investment and grant funding to date.
Founded by Professor Teoh Swee Hin, with a formidable background in biomaterials and tissue engineering, the Singaporean and Australian-based company has amassed more than $1 million of sales per year targeting an addressable market of more than $100 billion.
Now it’s seeking to list in Australia on 19 September in a $5.25 million IPO and will have Brett Sandercock, CFO at $25.5 billion cap ResMed (ASX:RMD), joining at its helm as Osteopore’s non-executive chairman.
For Sandercock, the opportunity lay in taking on a company with great ambitions for the Australian market.
“I think I would have joined Osteopore in whatever capacity, to be honest,” he told Stockhead. “But they were after a chairman with experience in the healthcare sector in Australia so I thought my skills and experience lined up nicely.”
He’s best known as the CFO of healthtech behemoth ResMed — starting out as the company’s group accountant in 1998 and working his way up to become CFO in 2006, a position he still holds and will continue to hold.
But what gets him up in the morning isn’t looking at spreadsheets; it’s playing his small role in patient outcomes.
“I see it as giving back a little bit,” Sandercock said.
“I like healthcare because even smaller companies like Osteopore help improve health outcomes for patients. You can make a real difference.
“You hear case studies, and you hear them all the time at ResMed, about how [the technology created by the company has] changed patients’ lives completely.
But Sandercock isn’t just at the company for completely altruistic reasons — he thinks Osteopore can scale globally thanks to its 3D printing tech, and he sees some parallels between what Osteopore is doing now and what ResMed was doing then.
Sandercock said that for any Australian healthtech company to succeed, it needs to have a global mindset from day one.
“But ResMed in those early days…always had a global aspiration,” he said.
“When Peter Farrell started the company he was really looking to grow a global business. He could have sat there and been satisfied with just the Australian market, but he never was.
“He saw the opportunity as being a global opportunity in a large market globally and that’s how he tried to position the company, to really act like a global company, probably before it even was.
“That’s what I saw when I talked to the Osteopore team.”
Where Osteopore was different from the early ResMed was the relationship the company had with key academic bodies in Singapore, Sandercock added.
“They do have a small team, but what’s really interesting and unique about Osteopore is that they can leverage a pretty highly developed ecosystem that exists in Singapore between government, universities and the private sector,” he said.
“It’s quite progressive in what they’re doing and what they’re trying to build in terms of that model — which was one of the reasons I decided to join as well.”
In fact, the company was able to gain recognition in its early days because of the close relationship it had with the Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore — the two globally recognised Singaporean universities where the technology was initially developed.
So while Sandercock wasn’t seeking a chairmanship role, a confluence of factors made it an offer too good to refuse.
The ability to make a real difference, the similarities between ResMed and Osteopore, and the work the company has done with the Singaporean academic scene — made it compelling.
“There’s a great team there, so I’m happy to contribute in any way I can…because I think this is a great opportunity. It’s technology that makes a difference and the addressable market here could be huge.”