Pi-Cardia: Repair Rather Than Replacement in TAVR

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ARTICLE SUMMARY:

While most of the focus in transcatheter aortic valve technology has been on replacement devices, Pi-Cardia is making a case for aortic repair, claiming it can be clinically better for many if not most patients.

For much of the history of cardiovascular devices, the sheer power of innovation levelled the playing field for big and small companies. The market leading positions of much larger multi-nationals was never entirely safe because the appetite of physicians for new devices gave small companies open access to promising markets, provided they could demonstrate that their technology was better than anything big companies had to offer.

The rapid growth of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) changed all that as multi-nationals Edwards Lifesciences and Medtronic plc quickly established what appear to be unassailable positions as market leaders—positions not likely to be eclipsed any time soon. Start-ups with novel technology thus can either pray that they’re acquired by one of the multi-nationals or they must find a new path to market. Israel-based Pi-Cardia Ltd. believe it has found that new path, offering interventional cardiologists an alternative way to think about treating aortic stenosis, one focused on repair rather than replacement of stenotic valves. Erez Golan and Eyal Kolka, Pi-Cardia co-founders, believe that offering cardiac interventionalists an additional option makes sense for many patients and the healthcare system, in the process offering physicians not so much an alternative valve device than a new way to segment the market.

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