Medtronic Scoops Up PercuSurge
The news that PercuSurge, the leader in emboli collection/protection devices, had been purchased by Medtronic caused some medical device executives to shake their heads in disbelief. Many had viewed a much-anticipated PercuSurge IPO as one of the most promising in the device industry in years, and they were confident that the device itself has the potential to be a blockbuster. That blockbuster potential, combined with the $225 million price tag, made it seem, frankly, as if PercuSurge had given up too early and too easily. But executives close to PercuSurge defended the company's move while affirming the long-term potential of the device.
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At a time when the US industry is undergoing perhaps its most serious crisis of leadership and confidence, it was appropriate that Bill George, former chairman and CEO of Medtronic was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award at this year's Phoenix Medical Device and Diagnostic conference for CEOs, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Versant Ventures, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Windhover Information. Honoring Bill George at this particular time is propitious because George has spent his career promoting the importance of individual values and responsibility in corporate leadership, and has just published "Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value," a book that defines the qualities he considers essential attributes for corporate leaders to successfully manage companies built to deliver long-term value.
For 20 years, interventional cardiologists denied the need for embolic protection devices, considering embolic events to generally be the infrequent results of poor technique. Nevertheless, recent data has revealed embolization as a potentially serious and relatively common event during percutaneous coronary interventions. While embolic protection devices have been shown to dramatically reduce embolic complications, physician adoption is slow. Several companies are developing different approaches to protect against embolization, recognizing that better patient data alone isn't enough to convince interventionalists to employ these devices.