Selecting the Manufacturer of the Year is always tough. After reviewing many worthy nominations from our readers, though, one medical device company rose to the top—Cyberonics. The medical device company stood out because it showed a rare combination of market success, outstanding innovation, and an ability to overcoming adversity with strategic vision.
The device firm is one of the few that focus on the neuromodulation and neurostimulation field. Despite the company’s setbacks last year, its technology platform has much potential. Neuromodulation is often compared with cardiac rhythm management (CRM) technology and is expected to revolutionize treatment of the brain in much the same way CRM did the heart.
Cyberonics’s technology—VNS Therapy—delivers stimulation via a device implanted just under the skin in the left chest area. It is unlike its competitors. The device sends mild, intermittent electrical impulses through a lead to the left vagus nerve, which then sends signals to the brain.
The company also overcame a series of challenges. After spreading itself too thin among a variety of potential applications, Cyberonics is moving forward with a renewed focus on growing the epilepsy application of its VNS Therapy. Its quick, unexpected turnaround and the contributions its technology has made to healthcare made the firm an obvious choice for the honor.
MD&DI has also highlighted two other outstanding OEMS—Abbott Laboratories and Volcano Corp.—whose accomplishments are worth noting. Abbott Labs has made some great strides, especially considering the recent concerns about drug-eluting stents (DES). Within three months of earning FDA approval, the company’s next-generation Xience V stent became a market leader. In addition, the company has continued to see significant overall growth.
Another success story is Volcano. Its intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) platform centers on a catheter-based system that enables physicians to examine diseased vessels from inside the artery. Volcano is helping physicians understand how to better treat the disease and to make sure that the treatment is taking place at the right location. The company says its technology means that the procedures are faster and the systems are easier to use, which has led to a twofold increase in the use of its product.
Whatever the reason for their success, these companies each represent the innovation and value that medical device firms bring to patients worldwide.