Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Market is Hotly Contested
This article was originally published in Start Up
Negative pressure wound therapy is the largest single market ever seen in the wound care industry, worth more than $1 billion in 2008, according to "US Markets for Current and Emerging Wound Closurel Technologies," a report recently published by Medtech Insight. So, it's not surprising that companies are fighting battles here, in which no holds are barred.
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KCI created a wound healing market potentially worth $6 billion as the first company to offer a new modality known as negative pressure wound therapy. Having uncovered such a large potential market, it's only natural that it would attract competition, and it has. In March 2009, wound care leader Smith & Nephew launched its own negative pressure wound therapy product line. KCI isn't going to give up market share without a fight; it's talking up its advantages and defending its IP portfolio mightily.
Kinetic Concepts' 28-year overnight success story rests on an opportunistic acquisition designed to complement its core business in specialty beds designed to prevent or relieve wounds caused by patient immobility. In 1994, KCI acquired rights to the VAC (Vacuum Assisted Closure) Therapy System, a non-invasive wound closure device that uses controlled, localized negative pressure to help promote healing in chronic and acute wounds. VAC is now the company's principal growth driver, accounting for 71% of the company's revenues, and a growth rate of 28%. VAC has been everything that KCI hoped--and much more. But now, in order to penetrate the $3.3 billion markets that it is targeting, the company will have to move beyond the core hospital markets where it's been successful, to the more challenging extended care and home health care markets.
Wound Solutions Ltd. looks to the paradigm of patient self-care in diabetes to address the gaps in chronic wound care, where the feedback provided by blood glucose monitoring encourages changes in behavior. A small device that is placed under a compression bandage helps patients with venous leg ulcers comply with the steps they should be taking to support wound healing, in the process, collecting data that helps clinicians make informed therapy decisions.