6. Boston Scientific
R&D Spending: $1,174,000,000
Percentage of revenue: 10.9%
2020 overall ranking: 13
One of Boston Scientific’s biggest R&D accomplishments in its fiscal year 2019 was the FDA clearance of the first fully disposable duodenoscope in December 2019. The EXALT Model D single-use duodenoscope is designed for use in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography procedures. It is the first single-use duodenoscope on the market and was granted Breakthrough Device Designation.
In February 2019, Boston Scientific launched its Spectra WaveWriter spinal cord stimulator to treat chronic pain in Europe. Spectra WaveWriter is designed to deliver electrical pulses of varying frequency, pulse width and amplitude to the spinal cord.
The company won CE Mark approval in the EU for its next iteration of its Watchman FLX anti-stroke heart implant. Watchman FLX is designed to be easier to implant during procedures to occlude the left atrial appendage and is re-capturable and re-positionable intraprocedurally.
Boston Scientific also won FDA approval for its Lotus Edge TAVR for high-risk patients. The device is designed to be repositioned or recaptured after deployment. (The company recently decided to scrap its Lotus product line, opting instead to shift its focus to its Acurate neo2 transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) system, which is in the midst of a controlled launch in Europe, having received CE Mark approval in April 2020.)
In July, the company launched its Tactra penile implant to treat erectile dysfunction. A man with the Tactra implant in his member can push it up for intercourse and manually pushed it down when it is not in use. The prosthesis is made of dual-layer silicone in order to give it a natural feel, with a Nitinol core for rigidity and durability.
Boston Scientific won FDA approval for MR-conditional labeling on its Vercise Gevia deep-brain stimulation device for treating Parkinson’s disease in August 2019. The ImageReady MRI label means the device and its companion Vercise Cartesia directional lead can be used during 1.5-Tesla full-body MRI scans.
For the first nine months of 2020, the company spent $857 million on R&D, down from $866 million for the same period of 2019. But R&D spending was up in Q3 2020 to $315 million, compared with $306 million in the same quarter of 2019.