Friday, February 10, 2012

Endoscopy Doesn't Have to Be Unsightly

Capsule Endoscopy can conjure up a negative image for patients; the leads and wires attached to their torso leading to a recording device that is worn on a belt or harness. This is needed in current systems due to the wireless technology used in transmitting the pictures captured by the capsule endoscope through radio-frequency signals.

Some products are looking to get the process down to no more than taking a pill. One such product, available for sale in the UK, France, Germany, and India, is Capsovision's Capsocam SV-1. The unit features a tiny, 360 degree camera available for sale in Europe and India through medical distributors. Pictures are downloaded, rather than transmitted by radio.

"The patient doesn't need to look like a bomber with a datarecorder and sensor attached to them anymore," says Tim O'Dwyer, Capsule Endoscopy Specialist for hte Saratoga, CA-based company. He recently spoke with Kalorama Information.

According to O'Dwyer, the new capsule Capsocam SV-1 has four cameras and 15hours of
battery operating time minimum and can take more pictures than the average unit.

"That's over half a million photographs compared to less than 80,000 taken by the market leader," O'Dwyer said.

Another system by Sayaka Corp uses an inner lens that constantly rotates so that a 3D image of the canal is taken. Sayaka's Capsule has a lens on the lateral surface of the capsule instead of the front. This new design obtains clear-cut lateral images of the gastrointestinal wall while the inner capsule spins in the digestive tract. The unit is battery free.

Capsule Endoscopy is one of the faster growing market segments in GI and more competitors are expected. We've completed a whole market research study on this promising area. Kalorama Information's latest report can be found on our website:Gastrointestinal Devices market research report.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cancer Biotherapy Revenues Settle Down, But Still Strong

In the last decade, one of the most promising new approaches in modern cancer treatment is immunotherapy or biotherapy, the development of methods to augment and enhance the body’s natural tendency to defend itself against malignant tumors without damaging healthy tissue. Therapies such as monoclonals or interleukins were growing at over 25% between 2005 and 2010.

That type of revenue growth could not have been sustained forever. As these products become an increasingly common part of treatment, we note that growth rates - while still very high - have slowed from previous levels. Kalorama notes in Cancer Therapeutics , our latest study, that biotherapies grew at 10% between 2010 and 2011. That new revenue growth rate though should hold long-term, at least the next five years, and still makes for a very comfortable atmosphere for new product introductions.

Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the industrialized world. Most cancer patients are treated with some combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, radiation and chemotherapy destroy healthy as well as malignant cells and thus can cause severe side effects.

The rising incidence of cancer, particularly in the over 50 population, is likely have a significant impact on all areas of cancer treatment. However, for many cancer types, there remains a significant unmet need in effective treatment. Lung cancer is one example as patient survival is less than five years after diagnosis. Traditional therapies have failed to provide adequate treatment for these patients, signifying a need for an alternative treatment plan. Compassionate use has been granted for several therapies in the past and this trend is likely to continue.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Canada Moves Highlights Interest in Personalized Medicine

A challenge to anyone promoting a therapeutic or a medical device in healthcare markets currently is that no matter how good it is, even if it is better than current regimens, payors both in the U.S. and Europe are seeking to cut costs, and that usually doesn't present a good market for innovative but more expensive solutions. This austerity is lead by governments, and is echoed by private payors.

Most major governments have undergone some type of cost-cutting program. In the U.S., while healthcare reform will likely expand the insured population, it also can be considered at least partially a 'cost-cutting' program that features payment decreases to providers and fees on devices.

It's possible that tests may be different, particularly those molecular tests that can improve patient outcomes and lessen the use of a therapeutic in a case where it has little probability of working. Canada's recent move to provide millions for personalized medicine products highlights how even in an austerity time, a product that can cut costs long-term has promise.

Kalorama has always discussed personalized medicine in its IVD reports, but we have recently completed our first full market research study on the concept. Personalized Medicine Diagnostics is available for pre-publication orders now and will publish on March 1st, 2012.