Orthopedic giant Stryker ( SYK ) has completed the patient enrollment for the pivotal TREVO 2 trial, which is evaluating the safety and efficacy of Concentric Medical's next-generation Trevo Retriever for removing blood clot from patients with ischemic stroke, a leading cause of death in the U.S. Stryker completed its acquisition of California-based stroke intervention products maker Concentric in October 2011.
Concentric received the U.S. Investigational Device Exemption ("IDE") for the TREVO 2 study in December 2010 and commenced enrollment in February 2011. The trial has enrolled 178 patients in 27 institutions across the U.S. and Europe.
The Trevo Retriever is the first device that uses Concentric's Stentriever technology, a novel method for removing clots in ischemic stroke patients. The device is geared to providing rapid access to the clot, fast integration with the thrombus and effective removal. Da ta from the TREVO 2 trial will be used in the regulatory filing for the U.S. approval of the Trevo Retriever.
The acquisition Concentric has provided Stryker access to the fast-growing acute ischemic stroke market in the U.S., Europe and Japan. The addition of Concentric's offerings enables the Michigan -based company to offer complete interventional stroke care to patients globally. The transaction is expected to be neutral to Stryker's earnings per share for 2011.
We believe that Stryker is poised for growth powered by new products, acquisitions and recovery in capital spending by hospitals. The co mpany is expanding its product portfolio by acquiring complementary businesses leveraging a solid balance sheet.
However, Stryker operates in a highly competitive orthopedic industry and faces strong competition from players like Zimmer ( ZMH ), Johnson & Johnson 's ( JNJ ) DePuy and Smith & Nephew ( SNN ). Moreover, it remains challenged by the sustained lumpiness in the reconstructive implant market and pricing and elective procedure volume still remains headwinds.
Currently, we are Neutral on Stryker. The stock holds a Zacks #2 Rank, which translates into a short-term "Buy" recommendation.