11. January 2012 14:40
Baxter International has appointed Jean-Luc Butel as its new Corporate Vice President and President of international operations.
The 55-year-old will take on the responsibility for leading the company’s international activities when he assumes his role on 20 February, 2012.
Robert L. Parkinson Jr., Chairman and CEO, says Mr Butel “brings significant international expertise” and will be a “tremendous asset to the company”.
Mr Butel was most recently the Executive Vice President and Group President, International, at Medtronic and served in a number of senior management positions at the company since 2003. Prior to that, he worked at Johnson & Johnson for 13 years and spent eight years with Becton Dickinson in leadership positions.
“Geographic expansion continues to be a key growth driver for Baxter,” Mr Parkinson added. “Our global presence and the strength of our country and regional organisations position us to meet the ever increasing demand for healthcare worldwide, particularly for the medically necessary products that we provide.”
8. November 2011 16:26
Medtronic has launched its T2 Altitude expandable corpectomy device for spinal stabilisation and correction worldwide.
The expandable vertebral body replacement cage features a self-locking mechanism that removes the need for placing a set screw during surgery, using bone graft to create contact to encourage fusion with the device.
Doug King, Senior Vice President and President of Medtronic Spinal, said that the new product demonstrates the company’s “long-term commitment to therapies for complex spine disorders for spinal tumour, trauma and deformity patients”.
Cancer patients can also benefit from the product. If the cancer has spread to the spine, the surgeon may replace the affected vertebrae with the T2 Altitude device.
More than 150,000 spinal fractures occur in North America every year, of which approximately 11,000 are spinal cord injuries.
Based in Memphis, Medtronic Spinal provides advanced treatment through the collaboration with surgeons and researchers to offer affordable, minimally-invasive products and medical technologies for neurological, orthopaedic and spinal conditions.
4. November 2011 16:12
US-based Medtronic Spinal has launched a new type of spinal fusion surgery.
The MAST MIDLF procedure, announced to the North American Spine Society in Chicago, enables minimally invasive spinal fusion.
Described as a midline laminectomy, the procedure accesses the spine in the middle lower back, removing the need for the surgeon to work through a tubular retractor.
Over 250,000 people in the US undergo spinal fusions each year to treat degeneration of the lumbar spine.
“This surgical strategy enables a highly efficient, minimally invasive lumbar fusion, while allowing visualisation of familiar posterior landmarks,” said Dr. Richard Hynes, spine surgeon at The B.A.C.K. Center in Melbourne, Florida.
“A midline approach offers surgeons a number of benefits in addressing the challenges associated with decompression as well as sacral fixation in the lumbar or lower spine.”
The MAST MIDLFTM procedure can be used with Medtronic’s surgical navigation and imaging systems, improving the accuracy of device placement and reducing clinician exposure to radiation.
The new surgical procedure is the latest addition to Medtronic Spinal’s minimally invasive MAST portfolio of surgical treatments for degenerative and deformity-based spinal conditions.
Medtronic's spinal business, based in Tennessee, is a global leader in the treatment of spinal conditions.
29. September 2011 16:10
Wilson Greatbatch, the inventor of the first implantable pacemaker, has died in New York at the age of 92.
The internal pacemaker (example pictured) is one of the medical technology industry’s most iconic devices, implanted in half a million people worldwide each year.
First developed by Medtronic in 1961 from Greatbach’s design, pacemaker implants now bring in revenues of $1.7 billion in the US alone.
Greatbach’s invention stemmed from his accidental discovery in 1958 of a means to derive regular electrical pulses from a small battery.
The device’s safety and sustainability was increased by Greatbach’s further invention of a lithium battery that could work for a decade, first incorporated into the pacemaker design in 1972.
A pacemaker uses electrical impulses, delivered via electrodes, to control or promote heart rhythm. All pacemakers are designed to treat bradycardia (an excessively slow heartbeat).
Greatbatch was responsible for over 150 patents. He was a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and received the National Medal of Technology in 1990.
“Nine ideas out of ten don’t work,” Greatbach once said. “The tenth pays for the other nine.” His career demonstrates the ability of medtech innovation to transform healthcare.
5. September 2011 09:43
Global medtech corporation Medtronic has completed the acquisition of two companies that specialise in technologies for energy surgery: PEAK Surgical and Salient Surgical Technologies.
PEAK Surgical is a leader in the new field of advanced energy surgical incision. Its PlasmaBlade cutting technology has been approved for use in a range of applications, including Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgery and reconstructive surgery.
Medtronic has acquired PEAK for a total of $120 million, including an existing ownership stake of $15 million. PEAK’s revenue is currently $20 million per annum and shows rapid growth.
Salient Surgical Technologies is a pioneer in the use of energy techniques for haemostatic sealing of soft tissue and bone. Its Transcollation technology has approval for use in a wide range of surgical applications including orthopaedic, spinal, open abdominal and thoracic procedures.
Medtronic has acquired Salient for a total of $525 million, including an existing ownership stake of $45 million. Salient’s revenue is currently $100 million per annum and shows rapid growth.
Chris O’Connell, EVP and President of Medtronic’s Restorative Therapies Group, said the acquisitions would enable Medtronic to “focus on offering a more broad portfolio of innovative surgical products”.
He noted: “Together, these acquisitions represent Medtronic’s commitment to innovation across the entire surgical continuum from incision to closing, and represent entries into new areas such as plastic/reconstruction, electrophysiology, oncology and large bone orthopaedics.”
19. August 2011 12:18
The largest aortic valve so far developed has gained CE Mark approval as a minimally invasive treatment for patients with severe aortic stenosis.
The new 31mm CoreValve System from Medtronic is the only transcatheter aortic valve available for patients with large valve openings.
Because it can be compressed and is self-expanding, the 31mm CoreValve can be deployed through the same 6mm delivery system as the smaller CoreValve sizes already available.
The Medtronic Core Valve system now offers three valve sizes. Being able to adapt the valve size to the individual patient is critical for achieving optimal blood flow.
Since its launch in 2007, the CoreValve System has been implanted in more than 15,000 people. It offers a minimally invasive treatment option for patients with severe aortic stenosis for whom open-heart surgery is too dangerous (approximately one third of cases).
“The 31mm CoreValve size allows us to provide a life-saving treatment option for more patients with severe aortic stenosis,” said Prof. Ulrich Schäfer of Asklepios Klinik, Hamburg, Germany. “We have seen positive clinical outcomes with the CoreValve System and are pleased to offer it to individuals who, until now, have been denied transcatheter aortic valve implantation due to their larger native valve size.”
John Liddicoat, VP and General Manager of Medtronic’s Structural Heart business, commented that the new CoreValve size “may afford many patients with severe aortic stenosis their first chance at a treatment alternative beyond optimal medical management or open-heart surgery.”
Based in Minneapolis, USA, Medtronic is a leading global manufacturer of cardiovascular devices.
4. August 2011 14:42
Cardiac device corporation Boston Scientific will cut up to 1400 jobs in the US by the end of 2013, but its expansion in China will create 1000 new jobs.
The domestic job cuts are part of a programme to reduce the company’s annual costs by as much as $275 million.
The news came a day after Boston Scientific’s announcement that it plans to invest $150 million over the next five years to grow its business in China, where it hopes to create 1,000 jobs in manufacturing and clinician training.
Ray Elliott, CEO of Boston Scientific, commented that the US market for implantable defibrillators – a major source of revenue for the company – had been particularly weak in the last quarter, for reasons including concerns about possible over-use and cost pressures being exerted by hospitals.
Boston Scientific is also the leading supplier of drug-eluting stents (DES), the market for which has fallen both in the US and internationally since 2006 due to questions over safety.
The downturn in the domestic cardiac devices market has affected Boston Scientific’s US competitors also. Medtronic announced it was cutting 2000 jobs earlier this year, while Cordis is dropping out of the DES market altogether.
“The company anticipates the reduction of 1200 to 1400 positions worldwide,” said Boston Scientific spokesman Erik Kopp. “However, this will occur through a combination of factors, including employee attrition and targeted headcount reductions.”
1. August 2011 17:02
The FDA has approved Medtronic’s catheter-based hypertension treatment, Symplicity.
The system is thought to be a permanent treatment to reduce or eliminate the sympathetic innervation of the renal arteries.
George Bakris, Professor of Medicine and Director of the Hypertension Centre at the University of Chicago Medical Centre, stated: “The imminent start of this clinical trial marks a pivotal point in the study of hypertension treatments.”
The treatment consists of a catheter that is passed through the femoral artery into the renal artery, where a generator delivers radio-frequency signals to modulate the nerves.
The Symplicity HTN-2 trial was an international, multi-centre, prospective, randomised, controlled study of the safety and effectiveness of renal denervation in patients with uncontrolled hypertension.
19. July 2011 17:33
Global medtech corporation Medtronic is to acquire Salient Surgical Technologies, a specialist in advanced energy devices for haemostatic sealing of soft tissue and bone.
The total transaction is worth $480m, net an ownership stake that Medtronic currently holds in Salient – whose annual revenues are around $100 million.
The company’s patented Transcollation technology has been used with more than 65,000 patients worldwide in a range of surgical procedures including orthopaedic, spinal, open abdominal and thoracic surgery.
Together with its acquisition of Peak Surgical, this purchase shows Medtronic extending its portfolio of surgical technologies across the entire continuum of surgical procedures.
“Integrating the Salient Surgical Technologies organization will bring new applications to Medtronic Surgical Technologies’ current surgical therapy areas and expand the company’s opportunities in adjacent offerings, helping Medtronic serve new customers and better meet the needs of existing ones,” said Chris O’Connell, Executive VP of Medtronic and President of its Restorative Therapies Group.
Joseph Army, President and CEO of Salient Surgical Technologies, commented: “We are excited about the opportunity to become part of the global leader in medical technology and look forward to leveraging Medtronic’s worldwide presence to make Transcollation technology the standard of care in advanced energy across the globe.”
Both companies are based in the USA, where the acquisition is subject to governmental and regulatory approval.
11. July 2011 18:13
Medtech corporation Medtronic has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire US company PEAK Surgical, a specialist in the new field of advanced energy surgical incision technology.
A previous investor in PEAK, Medtronic will pay a further $100m to acquire the company in addition to its existing $20m stake.
PEAK Surgical manufactures disposable surgical devices based on its PlasmaBlade technology, which combines the precision of a scalpel with the bleeding control of electrosurgery.
The PlasmaBlade devices are approved for use in a range of procedures, including ENT, reconstructive, orthopaedic and general surgery.
Chris O’Connell, executive VP and President of Medtronic’s Restorative Therapies Group, commented: “We are excited about this opportunity to bring our companies together and further broaden Medtronic Surgical Technologies' portfolio of innovative surgical products.
“PEAK’s advanced energy cutting technologies complement our existing surgical product line, strengthening our core offerings and enabling us to offer surgeons and patients a full spectrum of leading products across the entire surgical continuum.”
“Medtronic’s global reach will allow more patients and hospitals to benefit from the proven clinical and economic benefits associated with our PlasmaBlade technology,” said John Tighe, President and CEO of PEAK Surgical. “We are excited to join Medtronic and by the potential to further develop our family of products in multiple surgical specialties.”