The future of the heart valve industry was encapsulated in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in the “heart” of London, England at the end of September 2014. 2,018 attendees witnessed where heart valve technologies have been and where they are going.

From a recruiter’s perspective, PCR London Valves is a congress that is crucial to attend if you fall within the spectrum of the structural heart industry. The industry’s key players within the global heart valve market were there to witness the iterations in the mature TAVI/TAVR technologies and the intriguing discussions on the novel mitral valve therapies.

The fundamental themes of PCR London Valves were divided amongst the aortic and mitral technologies. TAVI was discussed at length from the physicians’ perspectives on successes and failures that have led to creative ways in which the aortic market is improving itself on a more mature level than its counterpart, the mitral valve. From a technology point of view, PCR London Valves focused on mitral products. Little innovation was discussed on TAVI and mitral technologies were the center of excitement.

The age old debate of repair versus replacement continued with mitral replacement therapies taking the lead… The challenge of the mitral repair due to the complexity of mitral valve anatomy has proven itself in the market and technology has sought a higher ground in replacement. Though there is room for both repair and replacement to exist, the industry is eager to see the future success of mitral valve replacement innovations.

Startups and corporate players are tackling the mitral valve industry. Some are focused on repair and others on replacement. Most do not have the full suite of products for both repair and replacement, but for those that do, it will be an interesting road ahead as we see the mitral valve market declare dominance in either repair or replacement. It all comes down to clinical data…we shall see.

A highlight of the heart valve industry was showcased at 2014 PCR London Valves with Mitralign’s presentation of the first percutaneous tricuspid annuloplasty in human history.

The refreshing startup presence, as well as the novel product development approach from several corporate giants, allowed PCR London Valves to paint a very clear image of the success in the heart valve market that has been accomplished and also its bright future of innovations. As the industry solidifies its accolades in the aortic market, continues to seek success within mitral and explores the tricuspid valve, this industry is persevering on its advancement.

PCR London Valves will be traveling to Berlin, Germany in 2015, which should be interesting. 2015 PCR Berlin Valves? Either way, this congress will continue to grow in attendees as the heart valve industry grows in technological advancement. We shall see the upcoming developments on where the mitral industry has grown over the year and more surprises in novel therapies similarly to Mitralign’s tricuspid success!

Written by Giovanni Lauricella
Giovanni is a high-octane recruiter for emerging technology companies in the medical device industry. He serves as the Directory of International Search at TMG.