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In Two Recent Trials, Devices Trump Rx

Executive Summary

Results of two recent studies reported at this year's American Heart Association meeting favor devices over therapeutics in treating certain cardiovascular conditions. The PRESTO trial results were the equivalent of a dodged bullet for stent companies; it showed no benefit from the drug Tranilast, a result which leaves intact the supposition that drug-eluting stents are the best restenosis treatment. And another major trial found that implantable LVADs have superior results in treatment patients with chronic end-stage heart failure.

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Edwards: Will a Biotech Deal Strategy Work For a Device Company?

More than two years after being spun-out as Baxter's cardiovascular group, Edwards Lifesciences is establishing its identity as an independent company. A large part of this initial process has focused on which product lines to retain, which to divest, and what new areas to get into. Edwards emerged in the unusual position of having market leadership positions in several product areas, most significantly heart valves. But slow growth in those markets is limiting the extent to which they can drive overall company growth. Edwards' new strategy is to focus on advanced--stage cardiovascular disease with its primary customers being cardiac surgeons. Resource-constrained following the spin-out, the company is relying on a strategy unusual for device companies--alliance, rather than acquisitions--to expand its product offerings. But as the treatment of cardiovascular disease continues to rely increasingly on interventional techniques, the challenge for Edwards is to build a sustainable, broad-based business around selling to cardiac surgeons.

Edwards: Will a Biotech Deal Strategy Work For a Device Company?

More than two years after being spun-out as Baxter's cardiovascular group, Edwards Lifesciences is establishing its identity as an independent company. A large part of this initial process has focused on which product lines to retain, which to divest, and what new areas to get into. Edwards emerged in the unusual position of having market leadership positions in several product areas, most significantly heart valves. But slow growth in those markets is limiting the extent to which they can drive overall company growth. Edwards' new strategy is to focus on advanced--stage cardiovascular disease with its primary customers being cardiac surgeons. Resource-constrained following the spin-out, the company is relying on a strategy unusual for device companies--alliance, rather than acquisitions--to expand its product offerings. But as the treatment of cardiovascular disease continues to rely increasingly on interventional techniques, the challenge for Edwards is to build a sustainable, broad-based business around selling to cardiac surgeons.

For 2001, A Top Eleven List

2001 was a mixed year for health-care manufacturers, characterized by real advances in cardiac device therapies, the maturing of the biotech and generics sectors, and the continued embattlement of Big Pharma. Here's the staff of IN VIVO's list of the most important trends.

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