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Medical Device Market & Industry Briefs, May 2012

Executive Summary

Brief summaries of recent medtech market and industry developments. This month we cover Hologic’s acquisition of Gen-Probe, highlights from Heart Rhythm 2012 and a wrap-up of life sciences venture capital funding for Q1 2012.

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New Paradigms Brewing In Atrial Fibrillation Ablation

Groundbreaking new mapping technologies could shift the future direction of the $2.5 billion AF ablation market, as evidenced by presentations at this year’s HRS and EUROPACE meetings; with some compelling clinical data now on the books, the electrophysiologists who perform AF ablation are taking notice, as are investors and strategics operating in this space. Emerging companies at the heart of this shift include Topera Medical, CardioInsight Technologies, and Acutus Medical.

Neuronetics Brightens Outlook For Neuro Devices

Neuronetics Inc. forged a new specialty of sorts, the interventional psychiatrist. Unlike other interventional approaches, the externally applied NeuroStar delivers transcranial magnetic stimulation to the precise area of the brain responsible for intractable depression. The device is changing the lives of psychiatrists who launched “TMS” clinics, hoping to capture the early success, and potentially creating opportunities for medical devices designed to treat other brain-related disorders.

LAA Closure Devices: Reaching Critical Mass?

Transcatheter LAA closure devices are starting to amass the level of data required to demonstrate their safety and effectiveness, and, if all goes well, the long-awaited FDA approval of the first such device – Boston Scientific’s Watchman – could finally occur sometme next year. Although LAA closure devices have already taken off in some European countries, US physicians continue to struggle with lingering uncertainties, about the learning curve, procedural safety and how LAA closure will stack up against newer anticoagulant drugs. Regardless of how these issues are eventually resolved, industry leaders see a big opportunity for a successful device in the LAA closure space, with market estimates of $1 billion considered conservative by some.

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