Company: Boston Scientific
Headquarters: Natick, MA
R&D spending fiscal 2011: $895 million
Priorities and Projects: In 2011, Boston Scientific ($BSX) scouted for new opportunities even as it focused on its core franchises. Indeed, Boston Sci has proclaimed that its mission is "Delivering What's Next" in less-invasive therapies, and claims that its rate of investment exceeds most of its peers in the medical device industry, according to its website. However, the company spent slightly less on R&D last year than in the previous two: $895 million in 2011 versus $939 million in 2010 and a little more than $1 billion in 2009. The 5% decrease versus 2010 was due to several factors, including the elimination of spending related to its neurovascular business and cost reductions associated with restructuring programs. Still, the 2011 total represented 12% of net sales in R&D. In addition, the company boasted of four acquisitions in the areas of structural heart, atrial fibrillation, peripheral vascular disease and deep brain stimulation. For example, in neuromodulation, the company anticipates wrapping its European VANTAGE study for the treatment of Parkinson's disease using its Vercise deep brain stimulation system next year.
But don't expect Boston Sci to rely on internal R&D efforts alone; the company will continue to eye product and tech acquisitions to better help its customers. In March, for example, Boston Sci exercised a long-held option to buy defibrillator maker Cameron Health for an initial $150 million, or more than $1 billion, once Cameron Health's S-ICD system gains FDA approval. Additionally, the company will work with research institutions, universities and clinicians globally to develop and test its products. Boston Sci touted its overseas R&D efforts in 2011, such as its announced plan to spend $37 million on R&D at its facility in Clonmel, Ireland, for development of a next-generation cardiac rhythm management system.
(Boston Scientific's TruePath CTO device is designed to treat chronic total occlusions.)