New catheter technologies are spurring medical device companies to snap up innovators in the space as a way to stay ahead of the game. Traditional operating procedures, such as cutting around a renal artery and damaging nerves to inject or extract fluids, are a thing of the past. Many ailments - hypertension, in-stent restenosis and peripheral artery disease - are now being treated with catheters that are deemed minimally invasive.

As a result, strategic buyers will spend 2013 playing catch up, predicts Matthew Weil, managing director of Christopher Weil & Co. Inc., which invested in catheter maker Vessix Vascular Inc. in 2011.

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