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Smith & Nephew Challenges KCI in Wound Care

Executive Summary

KCI created a wound healing market potentially worth $6 billion as the first company to offer a new modality known as negative pressure wound therapy. Having uncovered such a large potential market, it's only natural that it would attract competition, and it has. In March 2009, wound care leader Smith & Nephew launched its own negative pressure wound therapy product line. KCI isn't going to give up market share without a fight; it's talking up its advantages and defending its IP portfolio mightily.

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Spiracur Inc.

Indicated for many types of acute and chronic wounds, negative pressure wound therapy kicks off many mechanisms useful in wound healing. However, the devices aren't used in all patients for whom they're indicated for reasons that have to do with inconvenience, logistics and quality of life. Spiracur offers the same negative pressure therapy in a small, entirely mechanical, tether-free disposable device that replaces the cumbersome electric pumps that dominate the market today.

Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Market is Hotly Contested

Negative pressure wound therapy is the largest single market ever seen in the wound care industry, worth more than $1 billion in 2008, according to "US Markets for Current and Emerging Wound Closurel Technologies," a report recently published by Medtech Insight. So, it's not surprising that companies are fighting battles here, in which no holds are barred.

Wound Care Devices: Growth Amid Uncertainty

Over the last 15 years, a trend toward evidence-based medicine has led to a greater understanding of the science behind wound healing. This knowledge has fueled an explosion of innovation in technology and in the commercialization of a wide range of new products, generating a worldwide market estimated at $4.5 billion annually, with double-digit growth projected over the next three to five years.

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