) coronary stent portfolio was boosted with the CE Mark approval
of its Synergy everolimus-eluting platinum chromium stent. The
product features everolimus drug coating which dissolves in three
months, thus improving post-implant vessel healing. This
eliminates exposure to polymer over a long-term period, which is
a possible cause of adverse events at a late stage.
The CE Mark approval of Synergy was backed by positive data
from the six-month EVOLVE study demonstrating its non-inferiority
to the Promus Element stent with respect to in-stent late loss.
Subsequently, Boston Scientific plans to initiate a limited
market release of the Synergy stent by early 2013, while the
commercial launch is slated for early 2014. While the stent is
yet to receive approval in the US or Japan, enrollment in the
EVOLVE II trial is expected to begin later this year. Data from
this trial, which will enroll 1,684 patients across 160 sites
globally, will be used to gain approvals in these two
While we are encouraged with the approval of Synergy in
Europe, Boston Scientific's Interventional Cardiology segment has
been recording declining sales over the past few quarters
primarily owing to disappointing performance of the coronary
stent franchise. This is significant as the company in the
recently reported third quarter derived 17% of its total revenues
from coronary stents.
During the recently reported third quarter, global sales of
coronary stent system declined 24.4% to $304 million due to
disappointing performances from both drug-eluting stents ("DES")
that declined 24.5% to $283 million and bare-metal stents that
plunged 22.2% to $21 million. The company's DES business in the
US has been struggling due to several headwinds - lower pricing,
softness in percutaneous interventional volume and share losses
following the launch of
) Resolute Integrity stent.
Given the several headwinds currently at play, Boston
Scientific continues to focus on strategic initiatives to drive
growth and profitability. These include strengthening its
portfolio, targeting suitable acquisitions in areas of unmet
medical needs and focus on emerging markets. The company also
plans to invest approximately $150 million in China, one of the
world's fastest growing and largest medical devices markets, over
the next 5 years to build a local manufacturing operation. We are
impressed with Boston Scientific's recent acquisitions of
Rhythmia Medical and BridgePoint Medical, which reflects its
focus on new therapies to drive top line.
We expect these factors to benefit the company over the long
term and as such we have a 'Neutral' recommendation on Boston
Scientific. The stock retains a Zacks #3 Rank ("Hold") in the
BOSTON SCIENTIF (BSX): Free Stock Analysis
MEDTRONIC (MDT): Free Stock Analysis Report
To read this article on Zacks.com click here.