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Medtech in a Minute: Abbott's COVID Test Sales Surge; and More

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Quickly catch up on the latest medtech news from Johnson & Johnson, Abbott, Virtual Incision, and others.

J&J Is Open to M&A

Johnson & Johnson executives made it clear during the company's first-quarter earnings call that J&J remains focused on both internal innovation as well as merger and acquisition (M&A) opportunities. That includes the company's medtech business. The company's CFO, Joe Wolk, said J&J is evaluating opportunities to complement the current portfolio with acquisitions that build upon J&J's capabilities, address portfolio gaps, or play in higher-growth markets while yielding solid financial returns. He emphasized that strategic fit – not size – is what matters most to the company where M&A is concerned.

Abbott's COVID Test Sales Surge

Abbott's COVID-19 test sales surged in the first quarter to $3.3 billion, driven mostly by the sale of rapid COVID-19 tests such as the BinaxNOW. The company's first-quarter results also show that its diversified product portfolio continues to be its secret sauce.

Virtual Incision’s Star in Medtech Continues to Shine 

FDA has given Virtual Incision the green light to complete enrollment for its clinical trial. The company is developing Mira, a miniaturized robotic-assisted surgery platform. FDA granted approval for an IDE of the technology in 2020. The Mira platform is being evaluated for bowel resection procedures.

And in case you missed our last Medtech in a Minute report...

Medtronic's Renal Denervation Data Is a Major Turning Point

Medtronic's perseverance in renal denervation appears to be paying off – even if investors have "mostly given up" on the opportunity. Eight years after reporting unexpected results from the SYMPLICITY HTN-3 trial, the company presented promising three-year data from the first 80 patients in the SPYRAL HTN-ON MED trial at the American College of Cardiology's (ACC) 71st Annual Scientific Session that has renewed excitement around renal denervation. The data were also simultaneously published in The Lancet.

Abbott Scores FDA Approval for Its Leadless Pacemaker

Abbott's Aveir VR has become the second leadless pacemaker to reach the U.S. market. FDA approval for the new device came nearly six years ago to the day after FDA approved the Micra leadless pacemaker on April 6, 2016. Abbott's leadless pacemaker is equipped with a unique mapping capability designed to allow physicians to measure electrical signals within the heart and determine the correct placement of the device before final implantation. The Aveir VR also has an increased projected battery life and is designed to be retrieved if therapy needs evolve.

Dexcom's Savvy Business Move

 is getting ready to launch the Dexcom One in the United Kingdom in May. While it doesn't have all the bells and whistles that the G7 offers, the Dexcom One is intended to be a more affordable and accessible option for people with diabetes. It also represents a very intentional business move for Dexcom. The new continuous glucose monitoring system gives Dexcom a way to expand into geographies where it doesn't already have infrastructure or distribution partnerships in place, and where there may not be reimbursement or where reimbursement would be difficult. 

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