Atrial fibrillation ablation catheter market to reach $480M by 2013

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An increase in the number of catheter ablation procedures for treating atrial fibrillation (AF) will fuel revenues in the electrophysiology ablation catheter market over the next five years, according to a report from the Millennium Research Group (MRG).

The ablation catheter market will exhibit strong growth from 2008 to 2013, at a compound annual rate of almost 14 percent, exceeding $480 million by the end of 2013, according to MRG.

With the increased clinical attention AF is generating, market competitors are increasingly targeting their product development efforts towards designing AF-specific catheters, the report said.

MRG predicted that the recent U.S. approval of the first AF-indicated ablation catheter is expected to be the first of many devices to earn this designation. On Feb. 6, the FDA approved Biosense Webster's NaviStar ThermoCool Catheter for the treatment of drug refractory recurrent symptomatic paroxysmal AF.

Other manufacturers are also pursuing AF approval for their devices. CryoCath (acquired by Medtronic in November 2008) and Ablation Frontiers (acquired by Medtronic in February) are developing ablation catheters specifically designed for cardiac anatomy associated with AF.

"A number of leading competitors are developing therapeutic solutions for treating AF safely and effectively," said Anuk Karunaratne, senior analyst at MRG. "Currently, only a small percentage of patients with AF are treated with catheter ablation, but by 2013 this percentage will have tripled, and AF-indicated devices will be in a strong position to gain share of these procedures."