BD enters varicose vein treatment market with Venclose buy

BD is entering a new market for its venous therapy portfolio with treatments for varicose veins aided by its latest acquisition. The medtech giant is buying the catheter-therapy developer Venclose for an undisclosed sum.

Varicose veins are one aspect of a broader condition known as chronic venous insufficiency, which affects up to 40% of women and 17% of men in the U.S., according to the companies. Malfunctioning valves within the vessels themselves can cause blood to pool in the legs, leading to enlarged, twisted and sometimes painful veins.

Venclose’s intervention employs a radiofrequency ablation catheter, which is threaded into the compromised vein and delivers heat to help shrink and close the blood vessel. Once complete, the blood will naturally reroute its flow to nearby healthy veins.

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Venclose also offers treatments for incompetent perforator veins, with an October FDA clearance that addresses the separate category of veins that can cause more serious symptoms of chronic venous insufficiency, such as painful leg ulcers.

Radiofrequency ablation is the treatment of choice for chronic venous insufficiency, according to BD, and can offer less pain and bruising compared to external, laser-based therapies for zapping varicose veins.

In addition, Venclose’s system—available in a variety of healthcare settings in the U.S. and Europe—is able to deliver heat across two different lengths of the same catheter. With 2.5 cm and 10 cm heating zones, the device can ablate both short and long vein segments, while covering a larger area in a faster amount of time compared to competitors with smaller devices.

Other companies offer adhesive-based treatments, such as Medtronic’s VenaSeal, which uses a catheter to deliver small amounts of medical glue to close off enlarged veins from the inside via an outpatient procedure.

The acquisition adds to BD’s current venous treatment catalog of in-hospital stents that address vein obstructions and lesions as well as its sizable blood-collection business built on its ubiquitous Vacutainer product line. The deal will also help the company transition into new venous care settings, according to BD’s worldwide president for peripheral interventions, Paddy O'Brien.

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Earlier this year, BD picked up another catheter maker aimed at streamlining blood draws within hospitals. Velano Vascular’s needle-free, vein-dwelling catheter collects blood from further within the vessel following the placement of an IV line. The former Fierce 15 winner allows clinicians to take clean samples without additional needle sticks over the course of a hospital stay.