TriVascular's Sequel Could Be a Blockbuster
When Boston Scientific shut down TriVascular all appeared to be lost for the one-time hard-charging start-up that took on the daunting abdominal aortic aneurysm market. But TriVascular’s core investors and evangelical executive team have given the company new life.
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The US endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair (EVAR) market is one of the most dynamic device segments in the interventional arena, with growth and innovation driven in large part by an accelerating effort to expand EVAR to a wider patient pool. This movement toward more challenging cases does have a downside in terms of potential complications and uncertain long-term durability as physicians push the envelope of existing technology. However, innovation in this field is continuing at a fairly steady pace, and several important new technologies that could improve the safety and durability of EVAR in more complex anatomy could be introduced in the near future. If these devices live up to their early promise, they are likely to ignite even stronger growth in a market already valued at over $1 billion annually worldwide.
As venture investing in medical devices continues to split between early- and late-stage deals, investors increasingly face a choice: early-stage deals, where valuations are low, but risk is high and timelines are generally long; and late-stage opportunities, where risk is lower and timelines shorter, but the valuations are much higher. What if you could find an opportunity with the timelines and risk profile of a late-stage deal, at the valuation of an early-stage deal? That's what investors at Abingworth believe they've found in Lombard Medical Technologies PLC, a company with a novel approach to endovascular abdominal aortic aneurysm repair.
Endovascular aortic aneurysm repair procedures account for the majority of abdominal aortic aneurysm repairs performed in the US, and total worldwide revenues from aortic endograft systems now exceed $1 billion per year. Many believe that continuing improvements in endograft technology will drive EVAR penetration to 90% or beyond within the next five to 10 years. This article first appeared in the April issue of Medtech Insight, April 2011.