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Cyberonics and Depression's Happy Face

Executive Summary

Seven years ago, Cyberonics was all but dead, with an interesting technology and little else. Left at the altar when St. Jude refused to exercise an option to buy the company, Cyberonics faced the daunting task of getting FDA approval for a novel approach to epilepsy therapy and convincing a conservative customer group, neurologists, of the value of its vagus nerve stimuation (VNS) therapy. But Cyberonics was able to establish VNS in epilepsy and the company is now targeting depression, a market that could be as much as ten times larger than its first indication. And as Cyberonics' prospects brighten, the company now faces the challenge of keeping would-be acquirers at bay.

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