A Heart To Heart Talk On The Future Of Cardiology (Video)

According to the American Heart Association, more than 13 million people suffer from coronary heart disease, 6 million from angina, and 7 million from myocardial infarction. Rapid technological advances and product innovation are transforming the cardiology market. At the same time, the rising number of percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty procedures is expected to accelerate market expansion. Revenues are poised to grow based on increased penetration of the newer technologies: drug-eluting stents (DES), intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) equipment and vascular closure devices.

The interventional cardiology arena is currently undergoing rapid technological development. It is therefore critical for companies to keep pace with current and future treatment trends in cardiovascular disease and identify potentially profitable product solutions. This, in turn, requires high R&D investment.

The second day of OneMedForum SF 2011 kicked off with the Cardiology Panel led by Hany Awadalla, Managing Director of Rodman and Renshaw and panelists included Frank Litvack, Former President of Conor;  Mike Buck, Divisional Vice President of Venture Investments, Abbott Ventures and  Teo Dagi, Partner at HLM Venture Partners.

Both FDA approval processes and financing devices and drugs in cardiac care were discussed. Apart from supporting enhanced R&D allocations and developing new product area opportunities, mergers and acquisitions that will facilitate larger companies’ access to specialist product technologies will also need to be considered.

Following the 40 minute Cardiology Panel, company presentations allowed for a candid look at some of the new developments and technologies making headway in today’s world.

Castlewood Surgical, Inc., a presenting medical device company that is committed to improving the care of patients with cardiovascular disease aims to leverage physician and engineering innovation to improve patient outcomes.

The Cyclone device is intended to hold tissues, including cardiac and vascular tissues during surgical procedures.  It is not intended for the treatment of any particular disease or condition, but is used in various types of cardiac and vascular surgeries.

QuantumCor, another presenting company, is developing technologies that will allow physicians to repair the mitral heart valve in a minimally invasive cardiac cath lab procedure, eliminating the need for open heart surgery.

There are an estimated 3 million patients in the U.S. who suffer from mitral regurgitation.  Since the only treatment available requires open heart surgery, repair is not considered until valve disease has progressed to the point where the patient is significantly symptomatic.  Unfortunately, by that time, many patients are at high risk and are ineligible for surgery.

But, QuantumCor’s “disruptive” technology will provide a “Transcatheter”, or minimally invasive alternative, for patients facing surgery and will provide a treatment option for high risk patients who are ineligible for surgery.

In a time when certifications have begun to implant the first total artificial heart, clearly the future of cardiology is bright. Companies have gained a competitive edge by focusing on a broad product range and by implementing pricing flexibility. The leading companies have attained their dominant market position through prudent mergers and acquisitions which have broadened their product ranges. Rapid technological innovation has highlighted the importance of speedily transforming new technologies into marketable products.

Strategies to lessen time to market, including the acquisition of smaller companies with promising new technology platforms, will become increasingly important. As medical devices that can deliver drugs are gaining more and more popularity, collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies will present another strategic opportunity.

Other companies of note making advancements in cardiology include, but are not limited to BioCardia, Cambridge Heart, and Cardiogenesis.

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