Interventional Neuroradiology's Growing Pains
This article was originally published in Start Up
Neuroendovascular devices for treating hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke, while investigational, are gaining attention because of technology advances, intriguing anecdotal evidence of efficacy in a field in which previous drug therapies haven't worked, and positive but controversial emerging clinical data. Companies are pursuing neuro applications of endovascular devices, but despite lots of noise, clinical challenges and uncertain market potential restrain many from investing heavily in the field.
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In May 2000, START-UP profiled five medical device companies targeting stroke, in an article entitled "Making Progress in Stroke." We recently revisited Radiant Medical, Medivance, MicroVention, and two others to find out what went according to plan and what didn't In 2007, we have to say that there has in fact not been much progress, at least in acute ischemic stroke. Two companies dropped out, two remain active with promising programs--in clinical areas other than stroke, and one, which avoided ischemic stroke in the first place, enjoyed a nice exit.
Six years ago, ev3 was launched aiming at a broad attach on cardio- and endovascular disease. But the company found including coronary devices in its mix too difficult and too costly. Instead, the company shifted directions three years ago, with a focus on peripheral and neurovascular disease. In the process, it hopes to address what it calls "the innovation gap," the lack of devices developed specifically for the PVD and neurovascular specialists.
Concentric overcame major technology and regulatory challenges to be first to market in a large, complex device space, treating acute ischemic stroke, which has befuddled big companies and start-ups.