Market & Industry Briefs
Brief summaries of recent medtech market and industry developments. This month we cover CE mark approval for Abbott's Absorb bioresorbable stent, rumors about a takeover of Smith & Nephew, and J&J's cancer detection partnership with Veridex.
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Mass General has signed a $30 million deal with two units of J&J to develop a new system for capturing and analyzing circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The collaboration aims to develop a standardized diagnostic platform for biomarker analysis of DNA, RNA, or protein from tumor cells collected noninvasively. J&J will take the indications for its current CTC system, CellSearch, and migrate them to the new platform.
In the interventional cardiology community, 2010 could certainly be considered a breakthrough year for percutaneous heart valve devices. At two major US cardiology conferences: the American College of Cardiology in the spring, and most recently, the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics symposium, held in September, impressive results from randomized trials of transcatheter heart valve replacement/repair devices set the venues abuzz and had physicians speculating about possible near-term paradigm shifts in the way heart valve disease will be treated. The big questions now are how long it will take before these devices reach the US market, and exactly how many US patients are likely to be implanted once they are available.
The safety profile of drug eluting stents appears to be improving with second and third-generation designs that utilize thinner struts (which are believed to reduce vessel injury and turbulent blood flow) and minimize or eliminate the polymer coating. However, many researchers in this field believe the future of stenting will be defined by completely biodegradable stents that do their job of propping open the vessel until healing occurs, and gradually degrade over a period of months or years, leaving nothing permanently behind in the vessel.