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The Uterine Fibroid Market: High Growth for Uterus-Sparing Procedures

Executive Summary

In the treatment of uterine fibroids, there has historically been almost no middle ground between medical management by drugs with unpleasant side effects and the procedure of last resort, the hysterectomy. Now, though, a treatment landscape that's been barren for years, has finally become fertile ground for device innovation, according to a report published by Health Research International, "US Opportunities in the Management of Benign Uterine Conditions."

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In Rapidly-Growing MRI Field, Where's the Opportunity for Start-Ups?

Among imaging modalities used to guide surgery, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is growing at the fastest rate. According to “"US Markets for Imaged-Guided Surgery Products,"” published in November 2007 by Medtech Insight, MRI systems used in surgery or interventional procedures accounted for 12.5% of the $1.24 billion in surgical interventional imaging sales in the US in 2006, and procedure volumes are expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 9.2% through the year 2011. While it's obvious that the diagnostic imaging giants are positioned to enjoy the growth in emerging applications of MRI, start-ups can profit too.

GE'S Perception of Convergence

Although much smaller in scale, General Electric Co.'s $9.4 billion acquisition of Amersham PLC (now GE Healthcare's division GE Healthcare Bio-Sciences Inc.) [See Deal] early last year is every bit as radical in its space as Johnson & Johnson's $25.4 billion acquisition of Guidant Corp. is in the cardiovascular world. [See Deal] And while J&J's move highlights the decades-long consolidation movement in major medical device sectors, GE's actions illustrate another key trend: convergence. The Amersham purchase puts GE for first time in the life sciences industry and has a systems-oriented, engineering company talking about intangible, biology-focused strategies like personalized medicine.

GE'S Perception of Convergence

Although much smaller in scale, General Electric Co.'s $9.4 billion acquisition of Amersham PLC (now GE Healthcare's division GE Healthcare Bio-Sciences Inc.) [See Deal] early last year is every bit as radical in its space as Johnson & Johnson's $25.4 billion acquisition of Guidant Corp. is in the cardiovascular world. [See Deal] And while J&J's move highlights the decades-long consolidation movement in major medical device sectors, GE's actions illustrate another key trend: convergence. The Amersham purchase puts GE for first time in the life sciences industry and has a systems-oriented, engineering company talking about intangible, biology-focused strategies like personalized medicine.

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