Wound Closure Technologies Fragmented, But Growing through 2018

Wounds have been closed and secured through the use of sutures and bandages since ancient times, using equipment ranging from threads made of a variety of organic materials, to tight wrappings. In the modern medical age, suture materials have evolved through a succession of stages from non-resorbable, to resorbable, to stapling devices. Surgeons still primarily use sutures for wound closure and securement—sutures are cheap, familiar and work most of the time. However, it is important to discuss this class of products and their relationship with adjunctive measures, and with newer products under development.

There are six major device markets in the field of wound closure:

  • Sutures and Staples
  • Vascular Closure Devices
  • Surgical Sealants and Glues
  • Surgical Hemostats
  • Cyanoacrylate Glues for External Closure
  • External Closure Tapes and Strips

The markets for some segments in wound closure, especially sutures and staples, surgical tape, hemostats, and sealants and glues, are highly fragmented. There are literally hundreds of companies with products that fall into the wound closure arena. Barriers to entry are low for some segments, such as medical tapes, sutures and staples, and high for others, such as fibrin and others. In addition, many companies purchase from the original equipment manufacturers (OEM), and rebrand the products to sell under their own name. While this may obscure who the market leaders are, there no little doubt, however, that the overall market leader for the products in wound closure is Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), which markets devices that fall under six of the seven product categories. JNJ is followed by Covidien and B. Braun/Aesculap, which together make up the three largest players in this space.

Global Market Shares in Wound Closure 2014

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Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S192.

Growth in this market is still driven by new technologies with potential to not only penetrate well-established wound closure technologies but also gain procedure volume in novel applications. Below is illustrated the relative compound annual growth rates in sales of each of the major types of wound closure technologies.

Sales Growth in Wound Closure Types, 2014-2018

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Source: MedMarket Diligence, LLC; Report #S192.

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