International health care products major,
) presented encouraging data at the 2013 European Stroke
Conference regarding the superiority of its endovascular
offering, Solitaire FR revascularization device, in acute
ischemic stroke treatment. The panel included stroke experts from
Covidien's Swift Prime, Escape Extend-IA and Revascat trials.
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Clinical data from the randomized, controlled Swift trial showed
that the Solitaire FR device is far superior to the Concentric
Medical Retriever system, which is a first-generation clot
retrieval device used in the Interventional Management of Stroke
(IMS) III trial.
) had acquired Concentric Medical in 2011.
Covidien had initiated the Swift Prime study in Jan 2013. Deemed
to be one of the largest global medical studies, the trial is
examining the effectiveness of mechanical thrombectomy using the
Solitaire device in stroke care.
Additionally, data from another Covidien-sponsored Star trial
revealed that the next-generation Solitaire FR device can
effectively treat stroke patients with a large vessel anterior
We are upbeat regarding positive data from various clinical
trials indicating that mechanical thrombectomy is a better option
for acute stroke treatment using Covidien's advanced Solitaire FR
offering compared to the first-generation devices.
According to the American Heart Association, stroke is the fourth
leading cause of death in the U.S. Ischemic stroke occurs when a
blood vessel carrying oxygen and nutrients to the brain is
The Solitaire FR device, an overlapping stent-based technology,
mechanically removes blood clots from blocked vessels, restoring
blood flow to the brain in patients ailing from stroke. The
device had won the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration ("FDA") in Mar 2012 and is already approved
outside the U.S. for the endovascular treatment of acute ischemic
stroke, offering physicians with an innovative treatment
technology over the existing therapy options.
The Solitaire FR offering from Covidien's Vascular business,
under the core Medical Devices segment, is gaining significant
market share. This is substantiated by the 4% year-over-year
growth in the Vascular business in the last reported quarter.
However, the company recently provided a dismal fiscal 2013
guidance, which complements its Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).
Further, uncertainty regarding divestment of the Pharmaceutical
unit, at the end of Jun 2013, keeps us on the sidelines.
While we strongly recommend investors to avoid this stock, other
medical stocks such as
), carrying a Zacks Rank #1(Strong Buy), and
) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) warrant a look.