Bard reenters coronary angioplasty

May 8, 1991

C.R. Bard reentered the coronary balloon angioplasty market lastmonth after it received Food and Drug Administration approvalof its Probe III balloon catheter. Probe III is a fixed-wire balloon angioplasty catheter. Thistype of device makes up only 15%

C.R. Bard reentered the coronary balloon angioplasty market lastmonth after it received Food and Drug Administration approvalof its Probe III balloon catheter.

Probe III is a fixed-wire balloon angioplasty catheter. Thistype of device makes up only 15% of the total balloon cathetermarket, the rest being "over-the-wire" catheters. Bardhas several over-the-wire products awaiting FDA approval, thecompany said.

Bard's 45% position in the U.S. angioplasty catheter marketevaporated a year ago after it withdrew the Probe, Mini-Profile,Sprint and Solo catheters from the market. Most of Bard's problemsinvolved inadequate compliance with FDA regulations. There had,however, been complaints about defective performance of the Probedevice (SCAN 3/28/90).

Coronary angioplasty catheters are sold through Bard's USCIdivision in Billerica, MA. Although the bulk of the firm's angioplastysales are for cardiac applications, Bard also sells peripheralvascular balloon catheters to radiologists and other users. Thefirm continued to sell these angioplasty catheters, along withguidewires and other angioplasty accessories, while the coronarycatheter business was on hold, said William C. Bopp, Bard vicepresident and treasurer.

In fact, demand among radiologists for angioplasty and otherinterventional devices has been on the rise, he said. Bard formeda separate business unit, Bard Radiology, in November to targetthis user group (SCAN 12/26/90).

"Radiologists are performing more therapeutic and diagnostic(interventional procedures). That is why we formed Bard Radiology.This business center will initially sell products made by ourother divisions. But as they get to know the radiologist better,they will develop products specifically for that profession,"Bopp said.

Bard Radiology, based in Covington, GA, sells angioplasty andangiography catheters made by Bard Vascular, biopsy devices fromthe firm's urology division and drainage products from USCI, saidNancy Wolk, marketing manager for Bard Radiology.

BRIEFLY NOTED:

  • Shimadzu is making a concerted effort to build its medicalimaging business in Japan and world markets, according to a reportin the Medical Equipment Journal of Japan. The imaging vendorhas expanded the German production facilities of Shimadzu Europe,increased its medical staff in China from 30 to 40, and consolidatedresponsibility for Mexican sales into the U.S. medical business,MEJJ said.:

  • Star Technologies of Sterling, VA, signed a five-yearextension of its OEM supply agreement with GE Medical Systemsin February. Star is the exclusive supplier of array processorsfor GE's 9800 Quick series of computed tomography scanners.

  • GE and Toshiba signed a cooperative development and manufacturingagreement for their major appliance businesses last month. Thisextends the cooperation already existing between the two giantelectronics firms in their power systems, aerospace, siliconesand lighting businesses.

The two companies are among the world's four largest medicalimaging vendors. They have not indicated plans to cooperate inmedical systems, said Ted Kadoya, general manager of public communicationsfor Toshiba America in New York.