Strong growth seen for specialized medical devices

October 28, 2011

The market for specialized devices used for neurosurgical and neurovascular treatments will grow to $240 million by 2016, according to Millennium Research Group (MRG) of Toronto.

The growth will be driven largely by an aging population in the United States that will suffer an increasing incidence of conditions such as stroke, cerebral aneurysms and intracranial atherosclerosis disease.

Growth will be hindered mostly by the development and clinical use of competing innovative technologies that benefit patients without the use of these specific devices.

"A large influence on this market will also come from the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," said MRG Analyst Prabjot Bal. "These call for greater transparency in reporting the incidence of hospital-acquired infections and monitoring medical errors leading to such cases. This will encourage the adoption of premium-priced devices that decrease the likelihood of hospital-acquired infections, such as antimicrobial catheters for external ventricular drainage, thus boosting that segment of the market."

Hydrocephalus shunts will generate the largest part of the revenues in this market and will grow the fastest through 2016. Hydrocephalus devices command a premium price and are associated with a high repeat-procedure rate. In hydrocephalus, an abnormal accumulation of fluid collects in the ventricles, or cavities, of the brain. Drainage tubes, called shunts, can relieve the pressure caused by the fluid.

More durable options

While repeat procedures boost unit sales, they have also encouraged a search for more durable treatment options. MRS says it is likely that endoscopic third ventriculostomy (ETV), which promises a long term shunt-free solution for some patients, will increasingly become the treatment of choice, cutting into hydrocephalus shunt sales.

Medtronic and Codman & Shurtleff are the leading companies in the US hydrocephalus shunt market, but will be increasingly challenged by Integra LifeSciences, which has successfully secured numerous distribution agreements with hospitals recently. Components are made of metal and plastics such as polypropylene. Medtronic sells a nonmetallic shunt that is not affect by magnetic resonance imaging.

Devices used in treating intracranial aneurysms include neurovascular clips, which compete with embolization procedures, including those that employ the use of neurovascular stents and balloon catheters.

While unit sales of standard catheters will grow at an average of only 0.7 percent per year, sales of antimicrobial catheters will grow at 5.4 percent. Medtronic, Codman & Shurtleff and Integra LifeSciences are the major competitors in the external ventricular drainage device market.


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