Boston Scientific's Watchman Implant Study Results Encourage

According to an article published by Mass Device ,  Boston Scientific’s BSX Watchman heart implant long-term follow-up study recently demonstrated favorable outcomes. The study demonstrated low risk of hemorrhagic stroke and a high rate of discontinuation of anticoagulation drugs in patients with Watchman heart implant, at one-year follow-up.

Watchman is a permanent implant, serving as an ideal substitute to the lifelong use of blood-thinners like warfarin for patients of atrial fibrillation. The device was developed to diminish the risk of stroke without the danger of bleeding, which happens with the use of blood-thinners.

These study results are expected to be a major breakthrough for Boston Scientific’s Cardiovascular segment.

Study Results in Details

The follow-up study evaluates non-randomized, four-year data from the Continued Access to PROTECT AF (CAP) Registry and five-year data from the Continued Access to PREVAIL (CAP2) Registry. Both registries had the same endpoints viz.  primary proficiency of composite of stroke, systemic embolism, cardiovascular/unexplained death, and safety.

The new registry data covers the largest number and longest follow-up of patients who have been receiving treatment on a Watchman implant to date. The left atrial appendage closure device (LAAC) is indicated for stroke prevention in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF).

Incidence rates of hemorrhagic stroke were found to be significantly less than that of ischemic stroke (0.17 per 100 patient-years in CAP and 0.09 per 100 patient-years in CAP2). Total stroke rates were drastically lower than predicted by the patient’s CHA2DS2-VASc scores — a 78% reduction with CAP, 69% with CAP2.

The data of this clinical study supports LAAC as a safe treatment option for long-term anticoagulation in patients with NVAF, and reported the lowest rate of hemorrhagic stroke within this population.

Recent Developments

Lately, Boston Scientific has been witnessing several positive outcomes, which have boosted its Cardiovascular segment.

In November 2019, Boston Scientific released favorable outcomes for two devices within its peripheral drug-eluting product portfolio viz. the Ranger Drug-Coated Balloon and the Eluvia Drug-Eluting Vascular Stent. The results demonstrated the highest 24-month primary patency documented to date for the treatment of femoropopliteal disease in a U.S. pivotal trial with a DCB or DES.

In September, the company declared primary endpoint results from the EVOLVE Short DAPT clinical trial. It is the first prospective study initiated in the United States to study the safety of a reduced duration of dual antiplatelet therapy in patients at high risk for bleeding.

Price Performance

Over the past year, the stock has rallied 17% compared with the broader industry’s growth of 5.7%.

Zacks Rank & Stocks Worth a Look

Boston Scientific currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Haemonetics Corporation HAE, NuVasive, Inc NUVA and ResMed RMD. While ResMed sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), the other two carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank  stocks here.

Haemonetics has a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 13.5%.

NuVasive has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 10.9%.

ResMed has a long-term earnings growth rate of 12.9%.

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