Medtronic touts first implant of deep brain stimulator along with its antinfective technology

Medtronic's Tyrx Absorbable Antibacterial Envelope--Courtesy of Medtronic

Medtronic ($MDT) announced the first implants of its deep brain stimulation system in conjunction with its bioabsorbable antibacterial envelope to prevent surgical site infections. The milestone occurred at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix. Medtronic also said it plans to soon make the technology available for use with its neurostimulators for chronic pain and bladder/bowel control disorders.

Medtronic inherited the TYRX Absorbable Antibacterial Envelope via last year's acquisition of 2012 Fierce 15 member TYRX for $159 million upfront plus milestone payments. The mesh device releases the antibacterial minocycline and rifampin over at least 7 days, and is fully absorbed by the body after 9 weeks.

"Medtronic is committed to providing technologies that improve patient outcomes," said Lothar Krinke, vice president and general manager of Medtronic's brain modulation unit, in a statement. "Reducing the risk of infection is very important as patients and their physicians consider DBS as a treatment option."

The envelop is FDA-cleared for use with cardiac electronic implantable devices--pacemakers, implantable defibrillators and resynchronization therapy-defibrillators (CRT-D) devices--as well as implanted neurostimulators, like deep brain stimulators, sacral nerve stimulators, spinal cord stimulators and vagus nerve stimulators.

A Medtronic spokeswoman said in an email that the envelop has implanted with all of the cardiac devices, as well as spinal cord stimulators, and now deep brain stimulators too.

At the Heart Rhythm Society meeting in May, the Medtronic presented data showing that the envelope cut down infections and complications in patients one year after they were implanted with a cardiac device, compared to individuals in a control group. Less than 1% of individuals outfitted with the envelope developed an infection at the site of surgery, whereas 2.2% of individuals without the envelope reported infections or complications. The studies were carried out among 1,129 patients at 55 centers across the U.S.

At the time of the Tyrx acquisition, Medtronic said surgical site infections cost the healthcare system more than $1 billion per year. The problem is especially severe in the orthopedics arena.

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Special Report: FierceMedicalDevices' 2012 Fierce 15 - Tyrx