) registered an increase of 2.4% in its stock prices, post
announcement of the positive study results on Oct 14, 2013.
Impressive results were released from its DURABILITY II study and
from its DEFINITIVE AR trial. Both results were released at the
Vascular Interventional Advances (VIVA) 2013 conference in Las
The studies were undertaken to understand the safety and
effectiveness of technologies used in the treatment of peripheral
arterial disease (PAD). Across the globe, around 200 million
people are estimated to be affected with this common vascular
disease, also known as (PAD) peripheral arterial disease.
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DURABILITY II was the first study to focus on long lesions and to
specifically test the performance of a single 200 mm stent in the
Superficial Femoral Artery (SFA). The test spanned a time period
of three years and covered around 287 patients.
The results of the study support the utility of the single, long
EverFlex self-expanding stent. The use of this stent showed
lesser need for repeat procedures (revascularization of treated
lesions) as well as a low rate of stent breakage (fracture rate).
Stent fracture is a common cause of artery reblockage,
necessitating repeat procedures.
On the other hand, the DEFINITIVE AR acute 30-day data evaluated
the combination of directional atherectomy and anti-restenotic
therapy (DAART) in treating lower limb blockages in PAD patients.
The results demonstrated a greater procedural success compared to
PAD treatment using a drug-coated balloon alone. Additionally,
fewer vessel tears (dissections) and superior lumen gain were
observed in the application of the DAART treatment.
Covidien's release of such valuable clinically-relevant data for
the convenience of physicians justifies its position as a leading
global provider of healthcare products. The data obtained from
the two studies will enable physicians to take efficient
treatment decisions for PAD patients, thus improving standards of
Covidien also strengthened its vessel sealing portfolio with the
launch of two advanced energy devices, the LigaSure Impact curved
large jaw open sealer/divider LF4318 and LigaSure blunt tip
laparoscopic sealer/divider LF1637. LigaSure products are used in
operating rooms and are known for improving surgical procedures.
The severe austerity measures adopted in Europe is expected to
hurt the revenues of the company in the coming quarters as a
large part of its revenues are derived from the European markets.
Moreover, the drastic cuts in the reimbursement rates, coupled
with a high med tech excise tax will exert greater pressure on
the margins of the company and subsequently on its growth.
Covidien currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Other stocks that are worth a look include
Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc.
INSYS Therapeutics, Inc.
) each carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and
Boston Scientific Corp.
) carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).