Medical device major
) recently won CE Mark approval for its Evera MRI SureScan
implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) System. With the
approval, this system has become the world's first endorsed ICD
that also allows full-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Close on the heels of the approval, Medtronic also announced
an immediate European launch of this product. Evera MRI SureScan
ICD is yet to get the U.S. approval.
Evera MRI also includes Medtronic's shock reduction algorithm
SmartShock 2.0. According to the company, this will help
Evera MRI to better differentiate between dangerous and harmless
heart rhythms. Evera MRI also includes OptiVol 2.0 Fluid Status
Monitoring and complete diagnostics, that will help identify
patients at risk of worsening heart failure and atrial
Compared to other ICDs available, the Evera MRI system gives
patients the most unrestricted access to MRI scans. According to
recent data, 63% of debilitating heart rhythm disorder patients,
who have undergone ICD implantation, also needs an MRI within 10
years of being administered the device. Thus the Evera MRI
System, which exactly supports the situation, is expected to
create a solid foothold in the wide European ICD market.
After several quarters of drag in sales, management at
Medtronic recently confirmed that both the global and core ICD
markets are gradually stabilizing. This would result in easier
comparisons and should improve growth over the coming
More significantly, in the last reported quarter, ICD revenue
growth was 1% at CER compared to low single-digit market growth
rate (both in the global and U.S. ICD markets). ICD growth was
primarily due to the strong adoption of the Viva XT CRT-D that
drove improvement in Western Europe and Japan. Both Viva and
Evera's shock reduction algorithms, including Medtronic's
proprietary lead integrity alert, were approved by the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) recently for monitoring the
company's competitors' defibrillation leads.
Moreover, with a 50 basis point-gain in international share
and a loss of 50 basis points in U.S. share, global ICD shares
remained stable during the quarter. Added to that, the company
encouragingly noted that despite a downward trend in the European
ICD market due to deteriorating pricing in some key markets, it
successfully gained share in this region. With the latest CE mark
approval for Evera MRI, we expect continued acceptance and future
growth from the Evera family of ICDs.
Currently, Medtronic carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some
better-ranked stocks in the broader healthcare industry are
St. Jude Medical Inc.
). Enzymotec sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) while St. Jude
Medical and Covidien carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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