This article was originally published in Start Up
French start-up Corevalve SA aims to move heart valve replacement from the operating room into the cath lab. The company's ReValving technique, the catheter-based delivery and implantation of a new aortic valve, offers several advantages over traditional surgery, not least lower cost and quicker recovery.
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With clear regulatory approval paths in Europe and growing markets in Asia and other developing markets, device executives and investors see international markets as increasingly attractive alternatives for clinical validation, revenue, and regulatory approval.
According to "European Markets for Heart Valve Repair and Replacement Products," Medtech Insight's recent report, in the coming years growth in the heart valve industry will be somewhat flat in Europe-with a compound annual growth rate in the overall number of procedures of 1.6% between now and 2013. However, that number reflects a drop in the number of mechanical valves used, and a rise in tissue valves, which are enjoying increased uptake with each generation of technological improvements.
In heart valve surgery, there have been no home runs yet among the numerous efforts to improve the durability of tissue valves. ValveXchange Inc. has a different solution: improving the way that worn valves are replaced. The start-up is developing a tissue valve with exchangeable leaflets that can be exchanged either percutaneously or via minimally invasive techniques. By focusing on the replacement procedure, ValveXchange aims to make bioprosthetic valves more attractive to the increasingly younger patient population for whom its faster and safer exchange technology will provide a lifetime solution.