Shares of medical device major
) rallied 1.4% since the company announced favorable results
pertaining to the company's implantable cardioverter defibrillators
(ICDs) and its pacemaker at the Heart Rhythm Society.
At a late-breaking clinical trial session, Medtronic revealed
that ICDs can safely extend detection times before triggering
therapy in secondary prevention patients (those who are at higher
risk of deadly irregular heart rhythm and have already experienced
an episode of sudden cardiac arrest).
As per the PainFree SST sub-study, Protecta ICDs with SmartShock
Technology can be programmed with delayed detection interval
settings without compromising on the safety of high-risk patients.
SmartShock Technology is a shock reduction algorithm which helps
the device to better differentiate between dangerous and harmless
According to the company, earlier studies on prolonged interval
detection used to focus on primary prevention patients (those who
have not experienced an episode of sudden cardiac arrest but are at
risk of the same). It was detected that devices programmed to wait
longer to deliver therapy did not increase the risk of fainting
episodes among such patients. The study reveals that the same
strategy can be applied on secondary prevention patients after one
year of follow-up.
In another late-breaking clinical trial session at the Heart
Rhythm Society, Medtronic disclosed favorable data which validated
that the company's pacemakers with advanced features considerably
delay the progression of persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) in
patients with bradycardia or slow heartbeat.
The outcome of the study named as MINERVA (
entricular pacing to prevent
trial fibrillation and heart failure
) revealed that compared to standard pacemakers, the Reactive ATP
algorithm reduced the development of persistent AF by
The Reactive ATP algorithm restores the heart back to its normal
rhythm by pacing during abnormally fast atrial rhythms.
Accordingly, it plays a key role in slowing the progression of the
disease by successfully terminating atrial tachycardia/atrial
fibrillation episodes. According to the company, this outcome will
act as a major breakthrough as at present, atrial fibrillation is
one of the most common and expensive-to-treat diseases, putting
patients worldwide at a higher risk of heart failure, stroke and
MINERVA, which was recently published online in the
European Heart Journal
, is the first study to find that the full suite of Medtronic
advanced pacing features delays the progression of permanent
Amid several core market challenges including the still-sluggish
Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management (CRDM) sales with poor ICD and
pacing revenues, Medtronic is trying every means to boost growth.
This includes expansion of portfolio, penetration into the
international markets, and restructuring initiatives, which should
benefit the company over the long term.
Meanwhile, Medtronic has increased its focus on emerging markets
and is targeting higher revenues from this region. The company is
also committed to its aim of returning 50% of its free cash flow to
its shareholders, along with undertaking suitable acquisitions, to
Other Stocks to Consider
While Medtronic carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold), other stocks
worth considering in the medical products sector are
Baxano Surgical, Inc.
ICU Medical, Inc.
). All these stocks bear a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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BAXANO SURGICAL (BAXS): Free Stock Analysis
ENZYMOTEC LTD (ENZY): Free Stock Analysis
ICU MEDICAL INC (ICUI): Free Stock Analysis
MEDTRONIC (MDT): Free Stock Analysis Report
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