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Window of Opportunity Opens in Stroke

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

The field of stroke moves slowly; 17 years elapsed between the introduction of the thrombolytic drug tPA, the first FDA-approved intervention for acute ischemic stroke, and the clot retrieving device from Concentric Medical. The goal of these rdr rmost therapies is to quickly and safely achieve revascularization of the source of the blockage that caused the stroke. The problem has been, and continues to be, the very narrow therapeutic window of opportunity for stroke victims; that is the short time during which recovery is possible. Concentric Medical and Penumbra have both succeeded in widening the treatment window, from the three hour cut-off for tPA to eight hours. Others will follow. According to US Markets for Stroke Management Products, a report just issued by the FDC-Windhover division of Elsevier, this market will rapidly over the next few years because clinicians trained on first-generation devices are now prepared for improved neurointerventional technologies. The report estimates that cerebral revascularization and reperfusion device sales will grow at a compound annual rate of 33.4% through the year 2012.

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Highlights from the Q1 2009 review of medical device and in vitro diagnostics/research dealmaking. Device financing activity remained down bringing in only $522 million--the majority invested through VCs, mostly via late-stage venture rounds--not much change from the previous quarter, but a significant drop from Q1 2008, which saw $920 million. Device M&A brought in $4.4 billion, double the previous quarter, but most of Q1's money came from Abbott's $2.86 billion purchase of Advanced Medical Optics. Four other transactions topped the $200 million mark, including three deals by device giant Medtronic, which grabbed cardio companies CoreValve, Ventor Technologies, and Ablation Frontiers. There was also a decline in in vitro diagnostics and research fund-raising with 2009's opening quarter only seeing about half the dollars of Q4 2008.

Stroke Devices: Facing Challenges Head On

The International Stroke Conference, held in San Diego in February 2009, presented several device-based therapies and approaches that could offer improved outcomes for patients that suffer an acute ischemic stroke. The technologies discussed included mechanical thrombectomy devices, laser treatments, and combined therapy using ultrasound, microspheres, and thrombolytic drugs.

Medical Device and In Vitro Diagnostics/Research Deal Statistics Quarterly, Q1 2009

Highlights from the Q1 2009 review of medical device and in vitro diagnostics/research dealmaking. Device financing activity remained down bringing in only $522 million--the majority invested through VCs, mostly via late-stage venture rounds--not much change from the previous quarter, but a significant drop from Q1 2008, which saw $920 million. Device M&A brought in $4.4 billion, double the previous quarter, but most of Q1's money came from Abbott's $2.86 billion purchase of Advanced Medical Optics. Four other transactions topped the $200 million mark, including three deals by device giant Medtronic, which grabbed cardio companies CoreValve, Ventor Technologies, and Ablation Frontiers. There was also a decline in in vitro diagnostics and research fund-raising with 2009's opening quarter only seeing about half the dollars of Q4 2008.

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