Heart pumps: Thoratec, HeartWare devices "basically equivalent" | Wall Street Beat

May 29, 2012 by MassDevice staff

Thoratec and HeartWare will duke it out with "basically equivalent" heart pump technologies; also, venture capitalists look for devices that replace drugs; Biolase boasts a new Nasdaq ticker; plus, a Funding Roundup and analysts' ups and downs.

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Thoratec (NSDQ:THOR) and HeartWare International (NSDQ:HTWR) are poised to duke it out for the ever-growing heart pump market with devices that are "basically equivalent," according to a high-volume Mid-west cardiologist who spoke with Leerink Swann analysts last week.

The rival heart pump makers may be splitting a $2.5-$3 billion market for left ventricular assist devices as heart donors becoming increasingly scarce and more patients opt for heart pumps as a destination therapy, according to the unnamed physician.

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"This physician also views THOR's HeartMate II and HTWR's HVAD as basically equivalent devices from a safety and efficacy standpoint," Leerink analysts wrote. "Still, he did note the lack of long-term data for HTWR's HVAD as potentially detrimental to adoption, at least at his practice."

The anonymous physician appeared to corroborate analysts' expectations that the heart pump market will see an annual compounded growth rate of 25%.

 Devices to replace drugs
Innovating medical devices that replace existing drug therapies is an attractive field to play in, according to venture capital firms.