Oncology and X-Ray products company Varian Medical Systems (VAR) recently revealed that it was raising the profile of the Calypso System as a mechanism for medical practitioners to curtail the risk of heart ailments developed by women after many years following therapy for breast cancer.
The Calypso System uses a set of small transmitting devices that are placed on the patient’s thoracic cavity and then monitored during a therapy session. The technician starts the therapy only when the transmitting devices reveal that the heart is not coming in the way of a beam.
Besides the Calypso System, Varian maintains other tools to reduce the risk of heart ailments for women receiving radiotherapy. These include special beam configuring tools that continually reshape the therapy beam so that it is in congruence with the measurements of the targeted area.
Varian is a leading manufacturer of integrated radiotherapy systems for cancer treatment, and a premier supplier of X-Ray tubes for diagnostic imaging applications. The company operates in a technology-driven environment where success depends on the use of new technology, product development and upgrades. In the radiation oncology market, Varian competes with Accuray (ARAY).
The company is poised to increase its market share in radiation oncology. It currently enjoys a healthy demand for its coveted TrueBeam technology, which has meaningfully contributed to its net order oncology growth. Varian’s TrueBeam is designed to treat tumors with beams of high speed and precision. It incorporates several technological innovations such as patient positioning and managing his/her motion. Given its high intensity nature, TrueBeam can dispense strong dosage over twice as fast as that possible with earlier equipment.
Moreover, Varian continues to post decent results despite the contagion of economic problems in Europe and sustained softness in certain end markets. It enjoys a strong balance sheet marked by low debt and sizeable cash. The company also periodically deploys capital to boost investor confidence via share repurchases.
However, Varian competes with larger players in a technology-intensive industry. Further, uncertainties stemming from health care reform and a still weak hospital capital spending environment across many developed countries, especially in Europe, are significant challenges.
The stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Given Imaging Ltd. (GIVN) and Cyberonics Inc. (CYBX) are Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stocks, respectively, which are expected to do well.
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