Angio's NanoKnife Makes Headway - Analyst Blog


AngioDynamics Inc. ( ANGO ), a therapeutic and diagnostic devices maker, achieved a milestone for its tumor-zapping NanoKnife System, which delivered positive results in a clinical study. Based on this success story, the physicians concluded that the NanoKnife System is safe for treating liver tumors located near blood vessels.

Data from the study, conducted by doctors at the MemorialSloan Kettering Cancer Center, was published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons under the title "Ablation of Perivascular Hepatic Malignant Tumors with Irreversible Electroporation".

The NanoKnife System was used in 28 patients with 65 tumors, about 1 cm in size and located in close proximity to blood vessels. The study was carried out between January 1 and November 2, 2011. There were no treatment-related deaths and the morbidity rate was 3%. Blood vessels adjacent to the treated tumor were found to be healthy after the procedure in all patients with the exception of one.

After a follow-up of six months, the rate of disease incidence was nil in roughly 96% of the patients and the tumors did not recur in the same place in 95% of the cases. Moreover, the pain reduced and daily dosage of narcotic was lowered after 90 days. However, physicians at the center asserted that larger studies and follow-ups should be conducted to ascertain long-term patient outcomes.

A separate study called "Irreversible Electroporation Therapy in the Management of Locally Advanced Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma" regarding data presented on the NanoKnife at the Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) in March 2012 was published in the journal.

The NanoKnife System is used for the surgical ablation of soft tissue. However, the product has not received approval for treating any particular ailment. AngioDynamics is aggressively seeking regulatory approval for the system in additional indications including pancreatic cancer.  

Increased demand for the NanoKnife device is driving revenues at the AngioDynamics' soft Oncology division. Thus, NanoKnife remains the life blood for the company, which is looking to expand the label to broaden its commercial opportunity. AngioDynamics has been ramping up research and development (R&D) investments to expand its product portfolio and support the ongoing clinical studies of NanoKnife and vascular product development programs.

AngioDynamics has a leading position in several of its operating segments including angiographic products and thrombolytic catheters and products. However, its product lines face strong challenges from the competitive offerings of its larger rivals such as C. R. Bard ( BCR ).

Moreover, AngioDynamics is exposed to pricing headwinds stemming from lower selling prices of some access and peripheral vascular products. We currently have a Neutral recommendation on the company, supported by a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) rating.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Business , Stocks

Referenced Stocks: ANGO , BCR , SSO

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