Last year, Edwards Lifesciences landed on our list of medtech losers for an overly cautious U.S. launch of the Sapien transcatheter heart valve that threatened its first-mover advantage in the lucrative transcathether aortic valve replacement (TAVR) space. Yet despite Medtronic’s earlier-than-expected U.S. launch of the CoreValve, Edwards has maintained its market-leading position.
The company’s continued dominance in the sector has been attributed to the European launch of the Sapien 3 coupled with the U.S. launch of the next-generation, lower-profile Sapien XT valve designed for use in high-risk, inoperable patients. The advantage of this expanded patient population isn’t lost on competitor Medtronic, which seems to be realizing that the battle for market share may not be an easy one. “While we are in roughly 200 accounts, they are in almost double that. And so that set a big opportunity for them to grow in accounts where we are not there yet,” Mike Coyle, president of the Medtronic's cardiac and vascular group, said in a recent earnings call.
Despite increased competition in Europe and Medtronic’s continued CoreValve rollout, Edwards is expected to extend its TAVR reign into the foreseeable future.