Innovation And Indigenous R&D Are Crucial To MedTech: Sanjeev Bhatt

These are interesting days for MedTech, not just in India but also worldwide. I’d like to reflect on how the world is changing in order to improve healthcare. There was not much technology available to treat such myriad of disease conditions. Today, we are able to treat infectious diseases, lifestyle related diseases and also age related diseases.

Today is the best time from the MedTech point of view, where healthcare access is becoming more and more available to worldwide population. Global MedTech market is now of more than $400 billion and growing at a good pace of more than about 10%. Indian MedTech is now slotted at close to about $60 billion and it is expected to grow around 20% over the next five to six years.

Meril Life Sciences is an Indian MedTech company which is now globally present in more than a hundred countries. The company was founded in year 2007 and we are spread across four business verticals. We have a range of products in vascular interventional technologies. We work in orthopedics and we have products and technologies in endo- surgical range of products. We also do in-vitro diagnostics. Currently, the company has more than 4000 people associated with it and we are present in close to 145 countries worldwide with a very robust portfolio of more than 100 unique technological platforms.

Innovations at Meril Life Sciences

The company was founded on the basis of innovation and R&D. We realized that from the Indian MedTech point of view, unless we innovate and bring in the culture of indigenous R&D in medical device technology, we will not be able to stand in front of the developmental work that is going on elsewhere in the world.

It was more pertinent as all these years the country has been dependent on technologies which were being imported either from the USA or from Europe, but at Meril, our R&D is more from the characteristic of a person who has a nature of being childlike, thrifty, curious and at the same time where innovation stands at the forefront. The way we work is that we identify an unmet clinical need and we build on products and technologies to solve that unmet clinical needs.

One of the crucial things that we’ve done over the last seven years is that we worked quite a bit on next generation drug eluting stent. In order to move the technological needle we innovated in the direction of bioresorbable scaffolds. MeRes100 is one such unique example of polylactic acid based vascular scaffold, which has an ability to degrade in two to three years.

Meril Life Sciences Advancements in MeRes100

MeRes100 is a bioresorbable vascular scaffold and the strut thickness in MeRes100 is 100 micron. It is in fact the next generation bioresorbable scaffold. The drug eluted from the surface of the scaffold is Sirolimus. This is basically meant for treatment of patients with coronary artery disease who require angioplasty and stenting.

Bioresorbable nature of MeRes100 allows it to fully degrade in a period of two to three years. This is a unique advantage over the metal based drug eluting stents that we have currently. The product has been approved by the CDSCO in India and is also now approved by the European Union. It is a CE Mark product and in few times, Meril will decide the launch of MeRes100.

MeRes100 launch and awareness

Currently, coronary artery disease or occlusive coronary artery disease has been treated using metal based stents, more commonly used are drug eluting stents which are metal based platform.

These patients who receive a metal based stents will have a prosthetic device permanently implanted in the coronary arteries. It is very intuitive, especially if the patient is younger in age to have a scaffold which will degrade over a period of time. This is with an intention that as the age progresses, the patient will have progression of the disease and thus it is very normal not to have anything left behind.

So the quest for a fully degradable bioresorbable scaffold has been around and in that several technologies have been trying to establish their clinical safety and efficacy.

MeRes 100 was developed, especially with an intention to address this unmet clinical need. It’s a true 100 micron scaffold, which has sirolimus eluted from the surface of the scaffold and is timed to degrade over a period of two to three years. Now, over three years of clinical follow up in a large clinical trial we know that MeRes100 has a lower rate of target lesion revascularization which is just under 2%. Whereas with a metal based platform, the target lesion rate of revascularization rates are usually at the rate of 5% to 6% and sometimes it might be up to 10%.

One of the lubricators problems of stents has been stent thrombosis. In MeRes100, we’ve seen zero scaffold thrombosis in all patients over three years. So the device has not just established its efficacy, but it’s also established its uniqueness in terms of being extremely safe. – Economics Times

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