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TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--According to Millennium Research Group (MRG), the global authority on medical technology market intelligence, procedures for Left Atrial Appendage (LAA) devices, intended to minimize stroke risk in patients with atrial fibrillation, have grown by over 200 percent in Germany since 2010. This procedure will compete for market share against the new generation of anticoagulants, which provide an alternative method of decreasing stroke risk.

Stroke is a common consequence of atrial fibrillation, and approximately 15 percent of all strokes are caused by atrial fibrillation, and as many as one third of strokes occurring in individuals aged 65 or older. The standard preventive treatment has long been anticoagulants, typically warfarin, in clinical use since the 1950s. Warfarin has a number of drawbacks, including excessive bleeding, dosage difficulties and frequent interactions with food and other drugs.

Nearly 90 percent of stroke-causing thrombi in atrial fibrillation form in a part of the heart called the left atrial appendage (LAA). Devices that close off the LAA have proved effective in minimizing stroke risk. These devices fall into two main categories: endocardial and epicardial, generally referred to as "occlusion" and "exclusion," respectively. Endocardial devices have continuously proved to be significantly more popular than the epicardial alternatives.

LAA procedures are relatively new, and have been growing strongly in Germany. More than 30 percent of the physicians performing LAA procedures started to perform them only within the past year. These procedures will be competing against the next generation of oral anticoagulants with clinical profiles significantly superior to warfarins. According to a recent report from Decision Resources, these drugs include apixaban (Bristol-Myers Squibb/Pfizers Eliquis), dabigatran etexilate (Boehringer Ingelheims Pradaxa) and rivaroxaban (Bayer/Janssens Xarelto). Worldwide, these novel anticoagulants are expected to capture 72 percent of the atrial fibrillation drug market in 2020.

Despite improvement in anticoagulants, LAA devices are expected to continue to increase their share in this market. Decision Resources projects the number of diagnosed prevalent cases of atrial fibrillation in Germany to reach 1,716,000 in 2012 and continue to grow at a rate of 1.6 percent annually. The adoption of LAA devices in this market will continue to grow, since the implantation of an LAA device, whether endocardial or epicardial, is a one-time procedure, while drug therapy must be ongoing. MRGs Marketrack captures pricing information for all types of LAA devices in Germany, and permits competitors to accurately assess possibilities for future growth.

These results can be found in MRGs German Left Atrial Appendage Marketrack. This study tracks LAA procedures performed, devices used, cost per unit and cost per procedure and market shares in Germany on a quarterly basis.

About Millennium Research Group

Millennium Research Group (www.MRG.net), a Decision Resources, Inc. company (www.DecisionResourcesInc.com), is the global authority on medical technology market intelligence and the leading provider of strategic information to the healthcare sector. The company provides specialized industry expertise through multiclient market research, ongoing Marketrackā„¢ projects, customer loyalty tracking, facility-level procedure forecasting, and customized solutions.

About Decision Resources, Inc.

Decision Resources, Inc. is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information, and insights on important sectors of the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Please visit Decision Resources, Inc. at www.DecisionResourcesInc.com.

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