St. Jude Medical Inc.
) has received CE Mark approval for its EnligHTN renal denervation
system for treating patients ailing from hypertension. The company
launched the product during the EuroPCR 2012.
The unique multi-electrode system is a specialized ablation
procedure used to control systolic blood pressure in patients not
responding to conventional medical treatments. The radiofrequency
energy from the ablation catheter forms tiny abrasions on the renal
sympathetic nerves, which in turn interrupts nerve supply. This
interruption helps in lowering systolic blood pressure and hence
minimizes the risk of cardiovascular death.
Physicians at St. Jude's cardiovascular unit believe that this
alternative form of treatment of resistant hypertension represents
a significant advancement in the field of medical science.
Hypertension affects approximately 1 billion people worldwide at an
estimated annual health care expenditure of roughly $500 billion.
EnligHTN, the first multi-electrode ablation catheter in the
medical device industry, is expected to enhance clinical accuracy
and reduce procedural time.
In the most recent quarter, St. Jude's net revenues rose 1% (up
2% in constant currency) to $1,395 million. Healthy growth across
the company's smaller Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and Neuromodulation
segments were largely offset by the decline in the core CRM
Revenues from the Cardiovascular segment moved up 3%, both in
terms of reported and constant currency, to $336 million. Within
Cardiovascular, structural heart devices sales increased 8% to $155
million offset by lower revenues from vascular offerings, which
fell 2% year over year to $181 million.
St. Jude is consistently recording revenue growth and positive
earnings surprises over the past several quarters. We are impressed
by its solid fundamentals, healthy growth trajectory, strong
product mix, robust pipeline and cost management initiatives.
While a host of new growth drivers (including new products and
emerging markets) are expected to boost results in 2012 and beyond,
we remain cautious about increased competition, a still soft CRM
market and the dilutive impact of acquisitions.
A still choppy CRM space overhangs on St. Jude and its peers
). Our long-term Neutral recommendation on St. Jude is in agreement
with a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).
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