As the world prepares to deal with the second wave of Covid-19, which has already begun in many countries, questions have arisen about how medical devices markets, including the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) market, will handle the impact for a second time.
It has been almost six months since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic, and Covid-19’s initial impact on medical device markets has become well understood. When the pandemic first began in most countries in March and April, elective and non-urgent procedures were largely put on hold or even cancelled. This negatively impacted the medical devices markets associated with these types of procedures. As Covid-19 case numbers subsided throughout the summer, the number of procedures increased, allowing the associated devices markets to recover from their losses. However, cases are now beginning to rise again in many countries around the world, marking the pandemic’s second wave. As a result, many are wondering if the device markets will be similarly impacted in the fall.
The TAVR market will likely be sheltered from any negative impact that may come with a second wave of Covid-19 for multiple reasons. First, device manufacturers in this market are still carrying out device launches, despite the pandemic. For example, on 28 September, Boston Scientific announced that it had launched the Acurate neo2 aortic valve system in Europe. The Acurate neo2 device is unique in the market since its indication is not specific to any level of aortic stenosis severity. Instead, it is indicated for use by any patient with aortic stenosis, as long as it is deemed appropriate by the patient’s heart team. The fact that Boston Scientific was able to bring this device to European markets in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic highlights the strength of the TAVR market.
Second, manufacturers in the TAVR market are continuing to hire executives, even into newly created positions, in order to further their agendas. On 28 September, JenaValve Technology appointed a new chief commercial officer. This is a new position that is intended to lead the commercialisation of JenaValve’s TAVR valve device. JenaValve’s TAVR valve is unique because it will likely be the first valve on the market to be indicated for both aortic regurgitation and stenosis, greatly widening the potential patient population that could be treated with the device. This hiring shows that JenaValve is taking steps to move forward with its commercialisation, which again highlights the strength of the TAVR market despite the pandemic.
Finally, the number of TAVR procedures was greatly increasing before the pandemic began, and this momentum is not likely to have dissipated entirely due to Covid-19. In cases of severe aortic stenosis, patients have been more likely to be treated with TAVR than with traditional open-heart surgery over the past few years. GlobalData forecasts that this pattern will hold as the pandemic continues.
Overall, multiple indicators show that TAVR markets will continue to be strong, even during the second wave of Covid-19. However, due to the ever-changing nature of the pandemic, only time will tell if this proves to be the case.