Medical devices major,
St. Jude Medical, Inc.
) recently released positive interim data from the EnligHTN I
(ARSENAL) trial that is evaluating the safety and efficiency of the
EnligHTN renal denervation system. The interim data demonstrated
that the EnligHTN system reduced systolic blood pressure by 28
points on an average in patients with resistant hypertension after
a month of treatment and it sustains for the next three months.
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Hypertension affects approximately 1 billion people worldwide.
Renal denervation is a novel procedure which has been developed for
treating resistant hypertension and high blood pressure when
patients do not respond well to conventional medical therapies.
EnligHTN, the first multi-electrode ablation catheter in the
medical device industry, treats hypertension by the deactivation of
the nerves (which stimulate high blood pressure) adjacent to the
renal arteries using a catheter-based probe. It enhances clinical
accuracy and reduces procedural time at a much lower cost than
expensive drug therapy.
The emerging renal denervation business is a part of St. Jude's
Cardiovascular division and represents a major growth prospect.
Physicians at St. Jude's cardiovascular unit believe that this
alternative form of treatment of resistant hypertension using the
EnligHTN device represents a significant advancement in the field
of medical science.
The EnligHTN data released by the company provides a considerable
technological edge to the product line, as it can lower systolic
blood pressure at a rate double than the offerings of its
competitors. One of St. Jude's larger peers in this space is
), which manufactures the Simplicity renal denervation catheter
In addition, regular ambulatory blood pressure measurements were
conducted outside clinical settings to further confirm the findings
of the interim data on EnligHTN. The data was released during the
ESC (European Society of Cardiology) Congress 2012 conference. St.
Jude received CE Mark approval and launched the product in Europe
during EuroPCR 2012.
St. Jude is a leading medical device manufacturer with a solid rate
of growth over the past decade. We are impressed by its solid
fundamentals, healthy growth trajectory, strong product mix, robust
pipeline and cost management initiatives.
While a host of new growth drivers (including new products and cost
saving measures) are expected to boost results in 2013 and beyond,
we remain cautious about the increased competition, weakening Euro,
the soft CRM business and the overall tough macroeconomic
A still choppy CRM space overhangs on St. Jude and its peers
). We currently have a Neutral recommendation on St. Jude, which
carries a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).