Best of the Blog START-UP February 2009
This article was originally published in Start Up
A selection of our best blog posts from February for stories not covered elsewhere in the magazine includes: Friends in High Places: The White House appears to appreciate the need for innovation and, Medtronic's $1.03 billion buying spree is only the beginning in percutaneous heart valves.
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While there is no question that heart valve repair and replacement is moving toward minimally invasive techniques and devices, there is a big difference between a minimally invasive surgical approach and a truly percutaneous, incisionless procedure. The challenges of reaching the latter goal are substantial, but apparently not insurmountable., In fact, recent progress in this field provides hope that in the not too distant future, percutaneous valve replacement and repair will become an accepted part of the treatment armamentarium, greatly expanding the number of patients who can be offered these potentially life-saving procedures.
Much like the early days of coronary stenting, percutaneous aortic valve replacement has captured the imagination of physicians and industry alike. Although many challenges remain, most physicians in the heart valve community appear optimistic that transcatheter aortic valve technologies will eventually achieve a prominent place in the treatment armamentarium, a development that would put these devices on track to achieve over $1 billion in sales within the next five years.
Competitors in the cardiac rhythm management space are drawing new battlelines in the area of atrial ablation. Medtronic's acquisition of CryoCath pits it against historical rivals St. Jude and Boston Scientific.