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Embolic Protection: Unmet Clinical Need or Unneeded Technology

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

While the debate continues about whether embolic protection devices are really necessary, the space continues to generate interest from investors, start-ups and large companies looking for new technologies. Despite the unfulfilled promise of the past decade, interest has spread to new interventional applications such as percutaneous heart valves, indicating that this area remains a viable opportunity for start-ups.

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TAVR Emerging As Next Big Application For Embolic Protection Devices

Studies suggest transcatheter aortic valve replacement is associated with a higher stroke risk than standard surgical valve replacement, presumably due to embolic debris released during the TAVR procedure. To address this concern, several companies are developing TAVR-specific embolic protection devices, and their success may prove to be a key driver of future growth in this $1+ billion market.

TAVI Halo Shines On Embolic Protection Devices

Transcatheter heart valve (TAVI) companies are hot. A market that was worth $20-$30 million just two or three years ago, based on devices with an average selling price of $23,000, was worth more than $400 million in 2010, and to date these products are only approved in Europe. A major stumbling block to widespread penetration exists however: the higher risk of stroke seen with TAVI as compared to surgical valve replacement. Thus, investors are spreading the net out further, to scoop up companies developing embolic protection devices, to solve some of the potential neuro problems that can result from TAVI.

TAVI Halo Shines On Embolic Protection Devices

Transcatheter heart valve (TAVI) companies are hot. A market that was worth $20-$30 million just two or three years ago, based on devices with an average selling price of $23,000, was worth more than $400 million in 2010, and to date these products are only approved in Europe. A major stumbling block to widespread penetration exists however: the higher risk of stroke seen with TAVI as compared to surgical valve replacement. Thus, investors are spreading the net out further, to scoop up companies developing embolic protection devices, to solve some of the potential neuro problems that can result from TAVI.

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