Medical devices major, St. Jude Medical, Inc. (STJ) recently released positive interim data from the EnligHTN I (:ARSENAL) trial that is evaluating the safety and efficiency of the EnligHTN renal denervation system. The interim data demonstrated that the EnligHTN system reduced systolic blood pressure by 28 points on an average in patients with resistant hypertension after a month of treatment and it sustains for the next three months.
Hypertension affects approximately 1 billion people worldwide. Renal denervation is a novel procedure which has been developed for treating resistant hypertension and high blood pressure when patients do not respond well to conventional medical therapies.
EnligHTN, the first multi-electrode ablation catheter in the medical device industry, treats hypertension by the deactivation of the nerves (which stimulate high blood pressure) adjacent to the renal arteries using a catheter-based probe. It enhances clinical accuracy and reduces procedural time at a much lower cost than expensive drug therapy.
The emerging renal denervation business is a part of St. Jude’s Cardiovascular division and represents a major growth prospect. Physicians at St. Jude’s cardiovascular unit believe that this alternative form of treatment of resistant hypertension using the EnligHTN device represents a significant advancement in the field of medical science.
The EnligHTN data released by the company provides a considerable technological edge to the product line, as it can lower systolic blood pressure at a rate double than the offerings of its competitors. One of St. Jude’s larger peers in this space is Medtronic (MDT), which manufactures the Simplicity renal denervation catheter system.
In addition, regular ambulatory blood pressure measurements were conducted outside clinical settings to further confirm the findings of the interim data on EnligHTN. The data was released during the ESC (European Society of Cardiology) Congress 2012 conference. St. Jude received CE Mark approval and launched the product in Europe during EuroPCR 2012.
St. Jude is a leading medical device manufacturer with a solid rate of growth over the past decade. We are impressed by its solid fundamentals, healthy growth trajectory, strong product mix, robust pipeline and cost management initiatives.
While a host of new growth drivers (including new products and cost saving measures) are expected to boost results in 2013 and beyond, we remain cautious about the increased competition, weakening Euro, the soft CRM business and the overall tough macroeconomic conditions.
A still choppy CRM space overhangs on St. Jude and its peers Medtronic and Boston Scientific (BSX). We currently have a Neutral recommendation on St. Jude, which carries a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).
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