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Medtronic to challenge Penumbra with new aspiration retriever

On 16 January 2018, Medtronic announced the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Riptide Aspiration System, completely changing the competitive landscape in neurovascular thrombectomy.

As Penumbra’s Ace aspiration system was the only FDA-approved aspiration system for the treatment of large vessel occlusive disease prior to Riptide, Penumbra will experience intense competition to hold onto its position within the market.

Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability globally, with ischemic strokes representing approximately 80% of all strokes. The main method of treatment is the administration of t-PA, which breaks down blood clots.

However, five major trials have shown that advances in neurovascular thrombectomy devices in combination with t-PA have produced excellent results in post-treatment outcomes and reduced disabilities following an incident. Although this market is still small due to the lack of access to the procedure within the specified time window, it is expected to grow rapidly across the world once logistical barriers are addressed, particularly in the US.

Both the Riptide and Ace systems are aspiration retrievers used to treat ischemic strokes secondary to a large vessel occlusion (LVO), where a vacuum-like catheter is inserted into the blocked artery to remove the blood clot. Although stent retrievers dominate the market, the use of a combination of stent and aspiration retriever is becoming increasingly popular in order to maximise the results of the thrombectomy procedure.

GlobalData believes that Medtronic is gaining a strong foothold in the neurovascular thrombectomy market, seizing the opportunity to dominate what is anticipated to be one of the fastest growing markets in medical devices in the foreseeable future.

Medtronic is projected to gain market share rapidly due to the fact that the company already has a strong presence within neurovascular thrombectomy through its stent retriever, Solitaire. Gaining FDA approval for Riptide will also expedite the company’s presence in markets outside of the US, where it will be expected to dominate the market, as its current stent retriever is widely used in countries across the globe.

While Penumbra’s Ace was the first device to address the possibility of removing intracranial blood clots using aspiration, it was only a matter of time before its reign in this space came to an end.

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