Frugal Healing: An Economist Article

China and India have led the global economy out of a deep recession and despite their impressive growth, they have potential some would say to grow even more.  For investors,  this means there remains still an opportunity to get a piece of the action, especially in certain sectors such as medical technology. Sales of medical … Continue reading

Abbott’s Stint at a new Stent

Abbott’s stent, a scaffold-like device the size of the spring in a ballpoint pen, was inserted into one of Lamb’s coronary arteries in March 2006 and inflated under pressure to prop open the passage, which had been clogged by fatty plaque. Unlike metal stents, Abbott’s is made of polylactic acid and designed to dissolve within two years after implant. It left a healthy, unencumbered vessel, John Ormiston, Lamb’s doctor in Auckland, tells Bloomberg Businessweek in its Sept. 13 edition.

If studies confirm the device helps arteries and disappears without causing clots or other risks linked to metal models, the product may take the lead in the $4 billion-a-year market for drug-coated stents, as it would be safer for patients, said John Capek, Abbott Park, Illinois-based Abbott’s executive vice president of medical devices. Demand would fall for Abbott’s Xience stent and rivals from Johnson & Johnson, Boston Scientific Corp. and Medtronic Inc., he said.

“It may truly become the next revolution,” Capek said in a telephone interview. “The data are provocative enough at the moment to demonstrate that has a very real chance of happening.”

Medtronic Spinal Fusion Device Faces US FDA Review

A standard spinal-fusion procedure requires two surgeries, often done at the same time, Martin Yahiro, Medtronic’s senior director of clinical and regulatory affairs, said in a July 21 telephone interview. First, doctors operate to take a section of hip bone for use as a graft for the second procedure that repairs the spine, he said.

Amplify combines the company’s bone growth protein, known as rhBMP-2, with a ceramic device implanted in the spine for posterior spinal fusion through the patient’s lower back. The bone protein, marketed as Infuse, won U.S. approval in 2002 for anterior fusion surgeries, a lower-back operation performed through an incision in the front of the patient. It is also cleared for dental procedures and to repair lower leg fractures. Infuse generates as much as $800 million in annual revenue for Medtronic, with sales unchanged the past two years, Weinstein said.

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