Boston Scientific ($BSX) has just announced plans to launch new fractional flow reserve (FFR) and atherectomy guidewires in 2015 in collaboration with Japanese medical components specialist Asahi Intecc.
"We expect our collaboration with Asahi Intecc to help improve care for patients with coronary artery disease and strengthen our interventional cardiology portfolio," said the company's president of interventional cardiology, Kevin Ballinger, in a statement. "The Asahi Intecc expertise in guidewire technology is unparalleled. By leveraging the strengths of our technologies, we have the opportunity to create truly differentiated products."
FFR measurement is a method of determining the ratio of the maximum blood flow in a healthy coronary artery to that achievable in a diseased counterpart, explains Medscape. FFR guidewires measure the ratio with a pressure transducer about 20 millimeters from the tip of the device.
FFR-guided percutaneous coronary intervention reduces the rate of major adverse cardiac events, and the worldwide market, which exceeds $250 million, is growing at a double-digit rate, according to Boston Scientific. The guidewire for that market will be used with the company's just-released Polaris Multi-Modality Imaging System that supports intravascular ultrasound catheters.
The companies will also collaborate on improvements to Boston Scientific's RotaWire Atherectomy Guidewire, according to the statement. The 0.23-millimeter wire is used the company's Rotablator Rotational Atherectomy System to treat calcified lesions in coronary arteries.
"Boston Scientific has advanced sensor and atherectomy technologies. By combining these technologies with our expertise in wires and components, we believe the manipulability of these products will improve dramatically," said Asahi Intecc CEO Masahiko Miyata in the statement. "Through our collaboration with Boston Scientific, we are confident that we will be able to help improve outcomes for patients."
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