According to Millennium Research Group (MRG), the global authority on medical technology market intelligence, novel drug-coated balloon technology is being adopted in niche applications throughout Europe. This market will continue to grow as physicians increasingly use the technology in cases where other devices may not be suitable.
Although drug-coated balloons lack extensive clinical data comparing their efficacy against other technologies, such as drug-eluting stents, they are being employed in patients where drug-eluting stents cannot be used. For example, patients who are not candidates for dual anti-platelet therapy are prevented from receiving a drug-eluting stent; in these patients a drug-coated balloon may be a viable treatment option. There is potential to use drug-coated balloons in combination with bare-metal stents to lower the risk of late stent thrombosis, which some believe is caused by the polymers holding the drug onto the stent platform. This way the patient would theoretically receive the benefits of the drug and the stent without the increased risk of late stent thrombosis.
Drug-coated balloons are also being used to treat side branches of bifurcated lesions in the coronary arteries and for the treatment of instent restenosis. Although the practice of treating instent restenosis with another stent is currently being examined in clinical trials, physicians generally prefer not to perform this type of procedure.
"Although drug-coated balloons have been available in Europe as of 2007, they have experienced only minimal adoption so far," says Adrienne Ma, M.Sc., Analyst at MRG. "According to physicians interviewed by MRG, it is unlikely that interventional cardiologists will choose angioplasty alone when a stent could be placed. This market will continue to grow as the technology is used to treat patients in which other devices are not well suited. Physicians in Europe will continue to monitor data from clinical trials such as Eurocor's Valentines trial, Lutonix's PERVIDEO I trial, and B. Braun's PEPCAD trials, and positive results will further drive adoption."
MRG's European Markets for Interventional Cardiology Devices 2011 report includes analysis on France, Germany, Italy, and the UK. This report provides critical insight into trends that will fuel market growth for coronary stents, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty balloon catheters, intravascular imaging catheters, pressure guidewires, optical coherence tomography, and accessory devices through 2015.