Abbott (ABT) Reports Favorable Findings From RELIEF Study

Abbott Laboratories ABT recently presented new data from the Real World Evidence of FreeStyle Libre (RELIEF) study at the 58th Annual European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) meeting. According to the latest findings, Type 2 diabetes patients receiving once-daily (basal) insulin therapy experienced a significantly lower rate of hospitalizations from acute diabetes events (ADEs) when using the FreeStyle Libre, a continuous glucose monitoring system (CGM).

Currently, the FreeStyle Libre system is reimbursed for all Type 1 diabetes patients in most European countries. However, patients with Type 2 diabetes can only be reimbursed for the product if they meet certain requirements, like using insulin several times a day or having poorly controlled glucose levels.

The RELIEF study’s results add to a growing body of evidence demonstrating the FreeStyle Libre system’s efficacy in reducing hospitalizations in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes patients requiring multiple daily insulin injections. These favorable findings are likely to fortify Abbott’s diabetes care division.

A Detailed View of the Study Results

The RELIEF study was conducted using the French national health claims database. The findings showed that 5,933 patients with Type 2 diabetes using the FreeStyle Libre system and adhering to a basal-only regimen had 67% fewer ADE-related hospitalizations one year after beginning the FreeStyle Libre treatment.

The results also revealed a 75% reduction in hospitalizations for diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and a 44% decline in admissions for severe hypoglycemia. Also, the study found that the use of the FreeStyle Libre system over two years demonstrated sustained reductions in hospitalizations, regardless of whether the patients were under the care of a diabetes specialist or a general healthcare practitioner.

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The RELIEF study suggests that lowering the incidence of hypoglycemia and DKA may enhance adherence and help diabetes patients attain their glycemic targets. This is particularly important for the elderly, as hypoglycemia is linked to a significant increase in the risk of falls, fractures, dementia, and death.

Industry Prospects

Per a report published in GlobeNewswire, the blood glucose monitoring devices market is expected to see a CAGR of 7.92% from 2021 to 2030. Factors such as the increase in diabetic patients worldwide, rapid technological enhancements and early diagnosis of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia can be attributed to market growth.

Given the market prospects, the RELIEF study’s latest findings backing the FreeStyle Libre seems strategic.

Other Notable Developments

This month, Abbott launched its Amplatzer Talisman PFO Occlusion System in Europe. The Talisman device aims to treat patent foramen ovale (PFO) patients who have had a stroke and are at risk of having another. The novel Talisman system simplified doctors’ procedures while allowing patients to return to living fuller, healthier lives more quickly.

In August 2022, the company received FDA approval for its novel Proclaim Plus spinal cord stimulation system featuring FlexBurst360 therapy. The FlexBurst360 therapy on the Proclaim Plus system enables physicians to detect the lowest effective dose of stimulation for each patient and alter it in response to changing pain requirements.

Share Price Performance

The stock has outperformed its industry in the past year. It has declined 19.7% against the industry’s 51% fall.

Zacks Rank and Key Picks

Currently, Abbott carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space that investors can consider are AMN Healthcare Services, Inc. AMN, ShockWave Medical, Inc. SWAV and McKesson Corporation MCK.

AMN Healthcare has a long-term earnings growth rate of 3.2%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in the trailing four quarters, delivering a surprise of 15.7%, on average. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

AMN Healthcare has outperformed its industry in the past year. AMN has lost 6.9% against the industry’s 39.8% fall.

ShockWave Medical, sporting a Zacks Rank #1 at present, has an estimated growth rate of 33.1% for 2023. The company’s earnings surpassed estimates in all the trailing four quarters, the average beat being 180.1%.

ShockWave Medical has outperformed its industry in the past year. SWAV has gained 25% against the industry’s 36.4% fall in the past year.

McKesson has an estimated long-term growth rate of 9.9%. The company surpassed earnings estimates in the trailing three quarters and missed in one, delivering a surprise of 13%, on average. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

McKesson has outperformed its industry in the past year. MCK has gained 70.4% against the industry’s 18.8% fall.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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