St. Jude Medical Gets Award for Leadless Pacemaker

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St. Jude Medical Inc. (STJ) revealed that it has received the 2014 Innovation Award at Cardiostim 2014, the 19th World Congress in Cardiac Electrophysiology and Cardiac Techniques for its Nanostim leadless pacemaker. Shares of the company edged up 0.3% yesterday following the update.

A congress committee of electrophysiologists has chosen St. Jude Medical’s Nanostim leadless pacemaker for the award being the most innovative product in electrophysiology and cardiac technique.

Last year, Nanostim pacemaker obtained CE Mark approval in Europe. After its approval, the pacemaker has been implanted in patients located in the U.K., Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, France, Spain, and the Netherlands.

What Is Nanostim Leadless Pacemaker?

The Nanostim leadless pacemaker measures less than 10% of the size of a conventional pacemaker and can be implanted directly into the heart by a non-surgical procedure (through femoral vein with a steerable catheter), unlike conventional pacemakers, which require a more invasive surgery.

The pacemaker can be placed without the visible surgical pocket, scar and insulated wires (known as leads) needed for conventional pacemakers. It can be fully retrieved so that it can be readily repositioned throughout the implant procedure.

The smaller size and absence of a surgical pocket and a lead make the pacemaker comfortable for patients, reducing several complications, including device pocket-related infection and lead failure.

The pacemaker allows patients to live uninhibited lifestyles due to the elimination of the visible lump and scar at a conventional pacemaker’s implant site, apart from the removal of patient activity restrictions that may prevent the dislodgement or damage to a conventional lead.

The device is supported by the St. Jude Medical Merlin Programmer, which is used to interrogate and program the company’s other pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). The device battery is anticipated to have an average lifespan of more than nine years at 100% pacing, or more than 13 years at 50% pacing.

Currently, St. Jude sports a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks in the medical products industry that are also worth considering include Cardica Inc. (CRDC), NeuroMetrix Inc. (NURO), and PositiveID Corporation (PSID). All of them carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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