Leading neuromodulation company,
) recently entered into an exclusive technology licensing agreement
with Minnesota-based Magnetic Resonance Imaging ("MRI")
electrophysiology tools developer Imricor Medical Systems, Inc.
Imricor develops the world's only ablation catheter named the
Vision catheter for use with MRI systems in EP procedures. The
deal will enable Cyberonics to develop MRI safe Vagus Nerve
Stimulation (VNS) Therapy System.
Cyberonics' deal with Imricor came on the heels of the earlier
approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (received
in October 2011) for expansion of MRI option. The expanded MRI
options enabled VNS Therapy System patients to get faster and
higher resolution imaging available with 3.0 Tesla MRI scanners.
This latest agreement combined with the FDA approval is expected
to provide expanded imaging options for epilepsy patients. However,
the Vision catheter of Imricor has yet to receive sale approval in
the U.S. and in the international markets.
Cyberonics' VNS system is a non-drug, surgically implanted
medical device that stimulates the vagus nerve by sending
electrically pulsed signals. It is specially used for
treatment-resistant depression when all other anti-depressant
VNS therapy system is the first implantable medical device to
receive FDA approval for the treatment of epilepsy. The device has
the potential to treat other neurological disorders, such as
depression, Alzheimer's disease, anxiety, bulimia, fibromyalgia,
obesity, obsessive-compulsive disorder, multiple sclerosis and
traumatic brain injury.
The device is widely accepted amongst neurosurgeons, as
reflected by the sales of the company. As of now, more than 60,000
patients worldwide have been implanted with the VNS therapy system
for epilepsy and many more have used it for depression.
During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012,epilepsy sales in the
US market increased 10% year over year on the back of both new
patients and replacements. Over the last 4 years, epilepsy revenue
in the US increased 97%.
Cyberonics enjoys a strong position in the neuromodulation
market. We are encouraged by its improvement in the international
business. With the presence of players such as
St. Jude Medical
), the company faces stiff competition. We are also concerned about
the reimbursement related issues faced currently by the
Presently, Cyberonics retains a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) in the
short term, in line with long-term Neutral recommendation on the
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