TYRX: Is This the Model for Drug/Device Convergence?
TYRX has a novel device - an antibiotic-impregnated envelope designed to prevent infections in CRM implants - that could create signifcant opportunities, not just for itself, but also for large CRM companies looking to differentiate their devices in a flat, crowded market. Convergence has fallen on hard times recently, but TYRX hopes to succeed where others have failed by stripping risk out of drug/device convergence.
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TYRX Inc. has received FDA clearance for a fully-resorbable version of its antibacterial envelope, used to prevent surgical site infections in patients who receive implantable devices such as ICDs. The resorbable device has important advantages over the previous durable envelope and could substantially boost physician adoption of the company’s technology.
Angiotech positions itself as the first specialty pharmaceutical company dedicated to the drug/device interface. Best known as Boston-Scientific's pharmaceutical partner on the Taxus drug-eluting stent, Angiotech has created a large body of intellectual property around drug-device combinations. Focusing on the essential biological mechanisms involved in device failures, the company develops existing drugs for new applications in combination products for surgical markets, and it also owns a broad-based portfolio of drug eluting biomaterials. Now, as it looks to life after drug-eluting stents, Angiotech has plans to offer drug plus device combinations in peripheral vascular disease, orthopedics, ob/gyn surgery, and anti-infective coatings. It will thus face the challenge of managing, as a small to mid-sized company, a great variety of projects with limited resources. To lessen reliance on partners, going forward, it aims to capture an increasing proportion of revenues from product sales, taking some products from preclinical stage to market itself. But as a mid-sized company, it might have to choose between sacrificing a percentage of product sales to partners that provide development or distribution expertise that it doesn't have, or narrowly focusing on markets that it can address itself, but limiting its opportunities in a niche specialty.
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