The Failing Heart
This article was originally published in Start Up
Looking for larger patient populations, the newer CHF device companies position their products as early intervention tools that can perhaps delay or halt the progression of the disease.
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Heart failure is a huge growing market in which devices are looking to succeed where drugs have provided only limited benefit. Paracor is taking on the role of David In a field dominated by the Goliaths in cardiac rhythm management and their powered devices. The company is betting that its strategy to focus first on a mechanical approach offers a better alternative for many patients not well-served by current therapies.
Medical device investors who have avoided heart failure, because of the long and uncertain development course of ventricular assist devices, should take another look. The minimally invasive revolution in heart failure, to some extent a logical extension of interventional cardiology's migration into other areas of structural heart disease like heart valves and PFOs, is providing new device opportunities, which have the potential to get to market sooner and at the same address an even larger patient population than heart failure devices that came before.
Cardiak's chief goal is to help the heart heal itself. The company is developing a device that is designed to reduce the load on the heart and at the same time increase the blood supply to heart tissue, thereby promoting improved function of the patient's own heart. The device-called the AK Pulsor-could aid those patients too far along to be helped by drugs, but not sick enough to warrant the implantation of a ventricular assist device, which serves as a bridge to heart transplantation.