FDA gives nod to Covidien's detachable tip microcatheter device

Apollo Onyx microcatheter--Courtesy of Covidien

The FDA has approved Covidien's ($COV) new microcatheter, which the Ireland-based company says is the first detachable-tip device of its kind available in the U.S.

Called the Apollo Onyx, the microcatheter is designed to help surgeons treating patients with brain arteriovenous malformations, which is when a tangle of blood vessels forms in the brain or on its surface and bypasses normal brain tissue, diverting blood from the arteries to the veins. Called bAVMs, the condition occurs in about one in 200 to 500 people and is more common in males than females, the company said in a release, citing the American Heart Association.

"The Apollo Onyx microcatheter has the potential to improve patient outcomes by safeguarding the neurovasculature during catheter retrieval," Brett Wall, president of the company's Neurovascular division, said in a statement.

The company plans to showcase the device at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery's annual meeting scheduled for July in Colorado Springs, CO.

Closeup of the Apollo Onyx insertion tip--Courtesy of Covidien

Regulatory approval for the microcatheter comes amid a recent swarm of acquisitions by the giant devicemaker. Since the first of the year, Covidien has closed on its $860 million purchase of Given Imaging and plans to buy Zephyr Technology and New Wave Surgical. Based on commentary the company made in an SEC filing earlier this year, Covidien has or will purchase another company that remains undisclosed.

- read the release

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