Medtronic partners with Merit Medical to market unipedicular balloon catheters

Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) today announced it is partnering with Merit Medical Systems to offer an unipedicular, […]

Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) today announced it is partnering with Merit Medical Systems to offer an unipedicular, steerable balloon catheter.

As part of the agreement, Medtronic will be responsible for all sales, marketing and distribution of the Kyphon KyphoFlex unipedicular balloon catheter. Merit will be responsible for other manufacturing aspects of the catheter, including quality and safety controls, regulatory activities, and lifecycle management.

The latest agreement expands upon an ongoing partnership between the companies, in which Merit supplies Medtronic’s Kyphon Xpander Inflation Syringes, which are used in balloon kyphoplasty procedures.

“We are thrilled to be teaming up with Merit Medical Systems as we look to bring additional choice and flexibility to our interventional therapies portfolio,” said David Carr, vice president and general manager of Pain Interventions within the Neuromodulation business, which is part of the Neuroscience Portfolio at Medtronic.

Balloon kyphoplasty uses orthopedic balloons to restore vertebral height and correct angular deformity from vertebral compression fractures (VCF), typically due to osteoporosis, cancer or benign lesions. In the procedure, a small balloon is guided through a cannula into the vertebral body and inflated to raise the collapsed vertebra. Once the balloon deflates and is removed, the resulting cavity allows for a controlled deposit of bone cement to help form an internal case and stabilize a fracture.

More about the device

Merit Medical designed Kyphon KyphoFlex to create controlled, precise, targeted cavities in vertebral augmentation procedures. It will complement Medtronic’s current bipedicular balloon kyphoplasty.

Kyphon KyphoFlex is a steerable, curved catheter that allows for more modified trajectory once inside the vertebra for more optimal targeting, according to the company.

“We appreciate the confidence that Medtronic has in Merit’s technology. While we continue to deliver the ARCADIA™ Steerable portfolio to our physician customers and their patients, this latest effort will help deliver innovative steerable therapies to improve the lives of even more patients,” Merit Medical President Joe Wright said in a news release.

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