2017 proved to be yet another eventful year for the cardiovascular device market; it was filled with mergers and acquisitions, shifts in areas of focus, and the coming and going of innovative technology.

As new and exciting technology hit the market, with the goal of significantly improving health outcomes, there were cases where “revolutionary” devices experienced major setbacks in early development for failing to meet expectations; yet the technologies still have huge potential. Earlier this year, Abbott Vascular issued a worldwide retraction of its bioresorbable vascular scaffold (BVS), the Absorb, after clinical trials revealed disappointing results in post-procedure health outcomes and usability compared to the traditional stent. Despite this major setback in the BVS space, smaller players continue to invest and develop this technology, showing long-term prospects for this innovation. Similarly, earlier this year interim renal denervation studies showed promising results after revealing significantly better health outcomes in patients who received the treatment, despite experiencing a huge downturn after disappointing results from an earlier study in 2014.

The cardiovascular device market is constantly shifting with disease trends, targeting the unmet needs of different cardiovascular disease populations. In 2017, mergers and acquisitions demonstrated this shift as companies sought to enter new spaces in the industry. The most notable event was the completed acquisition of St. Jude Medical by Abbott Laboratories. This acquisition significantly boosts Abbott’s product portfolio, particularly in the field of electrophysiology; as a field with huge potential for growth and innovation to meet the needs of the growing arrhythmia population. This acquisition has helped Abbott secure a strong position in the electrophysiology market. Other notable acquisitions in the include: Boston Scientific’s acquisition of Symetis, to maintain a foothold in the rapidly growing transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) market; Teleflex acquiring Vascular Solutions; and Terumo acquiring Bolton Medical and the St. Jude Medical’s AngioSeal product line. By acquiring these companies, both Teleflex and Terumo are slowly gaining larger presences in the minimally invasive vascular interventions space, a field that is continuously growing as procedures move away from surgical procedures for better health outcomes.

Much of the progress and innovation in cardiovascular devices is driven by shifting away from surgical procedures and towards minimally invasive techniques, as this is proven to result in fewer post-procedure complications. Ongoing studies are constantly evaluating the two procedures against each other; results from a study earlier this year revealed that “TAVI was just as good as surgery but not significantly superior to it.” Though these results may prove to be slightly disappointing, results varied between different TAVI devices with some proving to be significantly better, prompting the ongoing development of this device.

While 2017 was filled with many changes and shifts in the market, 2018 is already looking to be eventful with several announcements of acquisitions in the works, including LivaNova selling their Cardiac Rhythm Management (CRM) business to MicroPort Scientific and the acquisition of C. R. Bard by Becton Dickinson. The ebb and flow of the cardiovascular market continues to drive innovation, with the hope of providing the best possible solutions to treating cardiovascular diseases.

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