Inside these posts: Medical devices

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Electronic eyeglasses could mean end of bifocals

Electronic eyeglasses being charged. (PixelOptics)

If you’re reading these words through bifocals or progressive lenses, your life could change in June. That’s when a company called PixelOptics in Roanoke, Va., plans to release emPower, a line of electronic eyeglasses that let wearers toggle between two prescriptions, with settings for close-up and distance vision. Get the full story »

Baxter to buy specialty drug maker Prism

Baxter International Inc. said it will pay at least $170 million to buy a specialty drug maker that has high hopes for a heart drug used in hospitals to treat irregular heart beats. Get the full story »

Study: Abbott heart-valve device safe, effective

Abbott's MitraClip. (Abbott)

Abbott Laboratories’ experimental device to repair leaky heart valves continues to show promise in patients two years after they have been treated, new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine today shows.

The MitraClip device, which is currently being review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for possible approval, is considered an important development for heart patients with mitral regurgitation because serious cases require open-heart surgery to repair their valves. It could be on the U.S. market by the end of this year. Get the full story »

Abbott absorbable stent shows good results

Abbott Laboratories Inc.’s experimental Absorb heart stent, designed to dissolve and thereby restore the blood vessel’s natural flexibility, has proven safe and effective a year after being implanted in patients, researchers said. Get the full story »

Abbott bets on dissolvable heart stent

Abbott Laboratories is betting heart patients will benefit from a new type of arterial stent that dissolves away when it is no longer needed. Get the full story »

Hospira profits tumble 40% on quality issues, sales

Shares of Hospira Inc. lost 7 percent of their value after the company said fourth-quarter profits fell nearly 40 percent, as the maker of drugs and devices works to improve product quality in the wake of regulatory issues.

Hospira had lower-than-anticipated fourth quarter sales because it has been unable to deliver products to customers fast enough due largely to “quality enhancement initiatives.” Get the full story »

Baxter profit falls 26% amid turnaround, quality issues

Baxter International Inc.’s stock lost nearly 4 percent of its value today after the company said fourth-quarter profits fell 26 percent as the company works its way through a turnaround plan and escalating product quality issues.

The Deerfield-based medical product giant’s earnings were negatively impacted by $227 million in charges. The biggest cost was a $164 million charge for what it called a “business optimization” initiative, which included paying severances, shutting down certain product lines and executing an undisclosed number of job cuts. Get the full story »

Abbott’s Acculink stent trial met goals, FDA says

Abbott Laboratories’ RX Acculink carotid stent appears to work as well as surgery in opening clogged neck arteries in patients who are not at high risk for complications from the surgical procedure, U.S. health regulatory staff concluded.

The device is already approved for patients who need to have their neck arteries opened up, but would face greater risk of side effects if they underwent a procedure to scrape off built-up fatty deposits that can cause strokes. Get the full story »

FDA proposes ways to streamline approval process

The Food and Drug Administration unveiled steps aimed at streamlining the approval process used for most medical devices and deferred decisions on the most contentious issues.

The FDA said Wednesday that it would ask the Institute of Medicine for input on seven proposals, including creation of a new class of devices that would require more data to win approval. Get the full story »

Do-it-yourself gastric bypass? Medline kit on eBay

From | A gastric bypass surgery kit made by Chicago-based Medline Inc. was put up for sale on for $264. “It was a mistake that it was on Amazon,” said Medline spokesman John Marks. “This is purely for hospital use by doctors and surgeons, and it is not for sale to consumers.” But that didn’t stop reviewers from having some fun with it.Get the full story>>

Pritzkers buy medical device firm

The Pritzker Group said it has purchased a Utah medical device company for an undisclosd sum from another local private investment firm.

The investment firm, which represents investment interests of Chicago’s Pritzker family, bought Clinical Innovations, a Murray, Utah-based maker of devices used in the care of women and their infants such as specialized catheters. Get the full story »

Abbott, others using iPad in medical sales

Medical-sector companies are passing out thousands of iPad tablet computers to salespeople to spruce up their pitch to doctors, and at the same time giving Apple Inc. a crucial foot in the door to business customers.

Abbott Laboratories, Medtronic Inc. and Boston Scientific Corp. are among the drug and medical-device firms making the move, while others say they are testing out the devices. Get the full story »

Baxter International shakes up senior management

Baxter International Inc. Chief Executive Bob Parkinson shook up his management team, disclosing this afternoon the departure of two senior executives and a plan to combine the company’s renal and medication delivery businesses into a “single global unit.”

The move essentially turns Baxter into a company focused on two divisions: medical products and bioscience treatments. The medical products business will include medication delivery devices such as intravenous systems while the bioscience business will include drugs to treat immune system disorders and blood diseases such as its flagship drug Advate to treat people with hemophilia. Get the full story »

Weak demand haunts Medtronic in fiscal 1Q

Medtronic Inc. posted a surprising decline in quarterly sales and cut its forecast due to weak demand for its medical devices and pressure on prices, sending its shares down nearly 12 percent to a 15-month low.

The world’s No. 1 stand-alone medical device maker, a bellwether, reported quarterly profit in line with expectations, but weak sales and outlook weighed on the shares of rivals such as cardiovascular device companies Boston Scientific Corp. and St. Jude Medical and orthopedic device makers Stryker Corp. and Zimmer Holdings. Get the full story »

Hospira CEO Christopher Begley to retire

Hospira CEO Chris Begley. (Hospira)

Hospira Inc. on Friday  said Chief Executive  Christopher Begley will retire after more than six years in the top job but remain active in the management and operation of the Lake Forest-based maker of generic drugs and hospital products.

Begley, 58, is the only CEO Hospira has had since it spun off from Abbott Laboratories in 2004 into its own publicly traded company. He will remain CEO until a successor is named and then take on the position of “executive chairman,” which Begley described in a conference call with analysts as a chairman who stays on as an employee “and plays a greater role in the company than a non-executive chair.” Get the full story »