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Medtronic Launches Kyphon Cannula for Balloon Kyphoplasty

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Medtronic plc MDT recently launched a new type of Cannula for balloon kyphoplasty surgeries in the United States. This Kyphon Assist Directional Cannula will be used together with the company’s balloon kyphoplasty (BKP) products to treat vertebral compression fractures that may occur due to osteoporosis, cancer or benign lesions.

This latest development is expected to augment the company’s orthopedic balloons surgical treatment within its Restorative Therapies Group business.

Kyphon Cannula at a Glance

According to Medtronic, Kyphon Assist directional cannula provides more predictable inflation and direction of cavity creation during balloon kyphoplasty surgery for vertebral compression fractures. Compared to a traditional balloon kyphoplasty cannula, this new product provides physicians more control when they try to inflate the bone tamp. This is also said to increase height restoration capability in a vertebral body.

Medtronic claims this cannula to be compatible across its portfolio of balloon kyphoplasty products, including the Kyphon Xpander II Inflatable Bone Tamps.

In this regard, the company noted a favorable outcome in the study called ‘Utilization of the directional balloon technique to improve the effectiveness of percutaneous kyphoplasty.’ The outcome shows that patients with osteoporotic VCFs treated with a directional balloon technique (n=49) versus traditional nondirectional balloon technique (n=51) reported significantly early and immediate outcome improvement in Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMDQ) scores versus the nondirectional technique at 3 days.

Growing Incidence of Vertebral Compression Fractures (VCFs)

According to Medtronic, VCF has become the most common osteoporotic fracture, affecting 1.4 million people worldwide. So, the recent launch appears well timed and strategic.

Per the National Osteoporosis Foundation, breaking a bone is a serious complication of osteoporosis, especially with older patients. Osteoporotic bone breaks are most likely to occur in the hip, spine or wrist. Per its data, about 54 million Americans have osteoporosis or low bone mass that puts them at increased risk for a fracture. Undoubtedly, this is a serious threat to the healthcare system and Medtronic is expected to reap benefits with this development.

COVID-19 May Hamper Short-Term Market Gain

Last month the company noted that, apart from deferrals of elective procedures made by many government agencies and healthcare systems, hospital resources too have been diverted to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Some crucial procedures were deferred as many patients avoided any non-COVID-19 emergency treatment. This might result in an initial hiccup for the company’s RTG therapy product lines, which are considered elective.

Share Price Performance

Over the past year, Medtronic has outperformed the industry it belongs to. The stock has risen 10.6% compared to the industry's 1.4% increase.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Medtronic currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell)

Some better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Aphria Inc. APHA, Surmodics, Inc. SRDX and Owens Minor, Inc. OMI.

Aphria has a projected long-term earnings growth rate of 24.6%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Surmodics’ long-term earnings growth rate is projected to be 10%. The company presently sports a Zacks Rank #1.

Owens Minor’s long-term earnings growth rate is estimated at 8.3%. It currently carries a Zacks Rank #2.

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