Heart Leaflet Technologies Inc.
This article was originally published in Start Up
Heart Leaflet Technologies Inc. is developing two percutaneous aortic heart valves that can be used to repair stenosed or calcified valves without the use of open-heart surgery.
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Health Research International has just issued a report, "US Opportunities in Heart Valve Disease Management." According to the report, the market for valve replacement and repair products will grow from more than $500 million in 2004 to some $900 million in 2010, with the greatest growth occurring in percutaneous valve products.
In heart valves, the advent of new, less invasive procedures promises the usual advantages over open surgery and more; lower cost, reduced procedural morbidity, faster healing times, and also, a new kind of intermediate treatment option that could serve new patient groups. Most companies are still in development; two companies have begun clinical trials in a handful of patients. But despite the early stage of the field, it's incited a great deal of controversy, particularly afer heart surgery company Edwards Lifesciences acquired the leading percutaneous valve company for what many view as a surprisingly large chunk of money. Central to the debate is the continuing (and uncertain) role of cardiovascular surgeons, the heart valve experts, once the referring cardiologists get their hands on their own procedure.
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