) rose 0.5% following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
approval of its MiniMed 530G, better known as the "artificial
pancreas". The device is designed to suspend insulin delivery in
diabetes patients when blood-sugar levels are very low.
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This is good news for diabetic patients over 16 years of age
because lower than normal blood sugar level or hypoglycemia could
be fatal for them. They should now be grateful to Medtronic and
its MiniMed 530G, which combines an insulin pump with a sensor
that sends a signal when sugar levels are below normal and even
stops insulin delivery for two hours, particularly at night when
they are asleep or unable to respond. Post FDA approval, the
device will be developed for children aged 2 years and older.
The device has been launched for the first time in the U.S.
However, it has been sold outside the U.S. as the MiniMed Veo
System since 2009.
In the human body, insulin hormone is produced by pancreas, which
converts blood sugar to energy. Due to diabetes,
insulin-producing cells in the pancreas are destroyed causing
patients to maintain proper blood sugar by injecting insulin. As
a result, scientists have been struggling for years to develop
technologies for automating insulin delivery.
Medtronic received the FDA approval for the device a week after
getting a warning letter from the authority regarding issues
related to manufacturing processes following an inspection of the
company's diabetes facility in Northridge, Calif. However, MDT
has promised to address these issues as soon as possible.
Currently, MDT retains a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). While we remain on
the sidelines about the company, other medical product stocks
that worth a look include
Trinity Biotech plc
) with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and
Boston Scientific Corporation
), both with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).