Medical device makers are investing heavily in transcatheter mitral valve replacement systems, but it will be at least four years before the technology reaches the US, as reported Yahoo!News Wednesday.
Medtronic, Abbott, Edwards Lifesciences and HeartWare International recently spent a total of $2 billion to buy companies developing versions of the technology.
Abbott's MitraClip, which is the only minimally invasive product on the US market for mitral disease, has annual worldwide sales of about $250 million.
John Capek, Abbott's executive vice president, projects strong double-digit annual growth for the MitraClip over the next several years.
Meanwhile, Edwards Lifesciences expects the aortic market will grow to $3 billion in worldwide sales in five years, double 2014 revenues, due to advancements in the technology and approvals to treat additional patient populations.
Some analysts, such as Morgan Stanley's David Lewis, predict the mitral market could be two to three times larger as more patients have mitral valve disease than aortic disease.