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Atherectomy Devices: At the Cutting Edge of Peripheral Vascular Disease

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

In the past, many medical device companies have seen PVD as a smaller offshoot of the coronary market and have sought to tap the opportunity primarily as a kind of commercial and technological second thought. Thus, they've largely tried to adapt devices developed for the coronary vasculature to peripheral applications-stents are the best example-only to fail, not because the market for PVD devices isn't there, but because significant differences between the anatomy of the peripheral and coronary vasculature mean that coronary devices don't always translate well to this new area. Now, though, as suggested by the success of FoxHollow, which recently went public, one of the most product areas for PVD may be a technology that has been around for a long time in coronary therapy but has gained a shaky reputation: atherectomy. New companies with interventional plaque clearing technologies-Cardiovascular Systems, Pathway Medical, and Minnow Medical-are thus targeting PVD first, coronary arteries, second.

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