Medical devices major,
St. Jude Medical
) has won Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its
latest MediGuide Enabled Ablation Catheters. The advanced device
enhances the efficiency of the company's MediGuide System used to
treat irregular heartbeats. The first procedure with the new
catheters was conducted at the Utah Valley Regional Medical
Center in Provo, Utah.
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Interventional Electrophysiology (EP) procedures, including
catheter ablations and Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT)
procedures, expose operators, staff and patients to the
significant risks of fluoroscopy. As per the American Heart
Association, humans exposed to ionizing radiation during medical
tests have increased by a whopping 600% between 1980 and 2006.
Cardiovascular patients comprise about one-third of the numerous
radiation-based imaging studies conducted by physicians across
the globe annually.
It has been clinically proven that the pioneering MediGuide
Enabled Ablation Catheters can effectively reduce exposure to
radiation during EP procedures. St. Jude considers the MediGuide
technology to be the most important growth driver for its Atrial
Fibrillation (AF) products portfolio under its Cardiovascular and
Ablation Technologies Division (CATD). The company plans to
initiate a limited launch of its MediGuide mapping system in
2013, with a full launch in 2014.
In the second quarter of 2013, revenues from AF climbed 9% (up
12% in constant currency) year over year to $237 million. The FDA
clearance and the subsequent sale of the new products in the U.S.
should further boost revenues of the AF franchise, which is
expected in the range of $930-$960 million for 2013.
St. Jude has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other medical stocks such as
), with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) along with
), carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), are worth considering.