Business & Technology Briefs (10/2007)
New spine company Globus raises $110 million from Clarus Ventures; Medco Health Solutions acquires PolyMedica Corp. for $1.5 billion; Olympus' long-awaited capsule endoscope receives US regulatory clearance; Concentric Medical launches another iteration of its Merci Retriever for ischemic stroke.
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Predicting, preventing, and treating stroke has always been challenging for drug and device developers. The sheer number of potential patients and the current scarcity of safe and effective treatment options make this one of the most intriguing markets. Innovation in the device arena continues at a slow but steady pace, and clinicians and patients are beginning to reap the benefits of recent advances.
While products for fusing the spine remain the backbone of the booming market for spinal implants and instruments, there's a new focus on motion preservation. These technologies--for lumbar and cervical disc replacement, nucleus replacement, posterior stabilization,and pedicle screw-based systems--promise a host of new procedures to treat patients with symptomatic back pain who are earlier in the degenerative process.
A year ago at this time, a sale to another company was the last thing on the minds of senior executives at St. Francis Medical, one of the leading companies in dynamic stabilization. But interest by large spine companies put a halt to the company's plans to go public and led to an auction that was eventually won by Kyphon. Kyphon's acquisition of St. Francis Medical was one of the device industry's biggest deals in 2006--and just what everyone was waiting for.