International health care products major,
) announced results of the two-year "Solitaire FR Thrombectomy
for Acute Revascularization (STAR)" study. Results of the study
encourage the use of Covidien's Solitaire FR device to treat
acute ischemic stroke (AIS).
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The Solitaire FR device from the company's Vascular business has
been designed to restore blood flow to the brain in patients with
AIS. It works by mechanically removing blood clots from blocked
vessels. It received CE Mark approval in 2009 and U.S. Food and
Drug Administration 510(k) clearance in 2012.
The STAR trial, intended to review the safety and efficiency of
the Solitaire FR device, had enrolled 202 patients at 14 centers
in Europe, Australia and Canada in May 2010. Data from the study
revealed that treatment of intracranial anterior circulation
occlusions with the device resulted in lower procedural and
device-related risks along with high rates of revascularization.
Long-term data, lasting 90 days, indicated lower mortality rate.
Stroke, a potentially fatal condition, is the second leading
cause of death globally, according to the medical journal The
Lancet. Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying
oxygen and nutrients to the brain is clogged. The disease
afflicts roughly 800,000 Americans annually, which is expected to
go up by 22% in the next 20 years.
We believe that Covidien, a renowned provider of global health
care products, is well-positioned to expand in this high-growth
stroke care market. The company will use the results of the STAR
clinical trial in a Randomized Controlled Trial of the Solitaire
FR device against the best medical treatment.
Revenues from the company's larger Medical Devices segment jumped
8% year over year to $2,133 million in the recently reported
first quarter of fiscal 2013. Within Medical Devices, Vascular
product sales grew 7% to $414 million, backed by a solid gain
across neurovascular and peripheral vascular offerings. The
Solitaire FR, which was launched in the U.S. last year, also
contributed to the top-line growth.
Covidien currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Medical products
companies, such as
Nxstage Medical, Inc.
Smith & Nephew plc
) with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), are expected to do well.