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Embolic Protection: Working the Guidewire With a Net

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

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.

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