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Clinical Update (03/2007)

Executive Summary

Recent clinical developments in the medical device industry, including developments in Artificial Limbs, Tissue-Engineered Therapy for ACL Tears, using Genes to Identify Early Atherosclerosis, and Stem Cell News.

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Where are They Now? Yesterday's Stroke Companies

In May 2000, START-UP profiled five medical device companies targeting stroke, in an article entitled "Making Progress in Stroke." We recently revisited Radiant Medical, Medivance, MicroVention, and two others to find out what went according to plan and what didn't In 2007, we have to say that there has in fact not been much progress, at least in acute ischemic stroke. Two companies dropped out, two remain active with promising programs--in clinical areas other than stroke, and one, which avoided ischemic stroke in the first place, enjoyed a nice exit.

Tornier: Building an Extremities Play in Orthopedics

For years, investors from private equity firm Warburg Pincus and venture capital firm The Vertical Group contemplated the notion of building an orthopedics business in extremities, a subsegment the big orthopedics players had all but ignored. Now in French orthopedics company, Tornier, they believe they've found the perfect platform. The question is: can they strike gold in an area no one else has been able to mine?

Pharmacogenomics: Promises and Problems

So far, pharmacogenomics, the study of the effects of an individual's genetic makeup on their response to drugs, has not produced the hoped-for revolution in the pharmaceutical industry, due primarily to lagging approvals and the high cost of molecular testing. Nevertheless, the promise of personalized medicine is very real, and several exciting products have received FDA approval.

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