This article was originally published in Start Up
Devices to catch and contain emboli could improve the outcomes of interventional cardiology procedures..
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At this year's Paris Course on Revascularization (PCR), the leading European interventional meeting, embolic protection devices (EPDs) were among the prime subjects, in terms of clinical presentations and company exhibits. Some industry executives had predicted that Medtronic's acquisition last fall of PercuSurge would end the competitive race in this market before it really began. But judging by both the newer companies at the PCR and other recent entrants into this space, it appears that the battle has just begun. There are around 14 companies now competing in this space, six of which have received CE mark. Since none of these companies is on the US market, the initial competitive battle will be fought in Europe. Each of the major cardiology companies has already gotten into this area, generally through acquisitions. But there are also several start-ups that have come up with new technological approaches that are receiving favorable initial clinical reviews, so the debate remains open as to which of three approaches--occlusion balloons, filters, or proximal occlusion/reverse flow systems will ultimately prevail.
With device company investors worried about exit strategies, companies and their financiers are looking for creative ways to get deals done. Limited exit opportunities are making financiers anxious, driving them to put more money into fewer start-ups, which target devices aimed at larger markets. Some entrepreneurs are forming incubators to focus on niche products in which they develop new technologies, then sell them without building companies around them.
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