Varian Medical Systems, Inc. VAR recently announced signing of a three-year agreement with Tata Trust. The deal aims at increasing patient access to advanced radiation therapy treatments in India. This apart, Varian’s ARIA oncology information system and Eclipse treatment planning system will be implemented to help improve the level of care.
Following the announcement, shares of the Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company gained 0.5% to $134.60 at close.
About the Agreement
The latest agreement is a part of a program undertaken by Tata Trusts with the goal of creating patient-centric cancer institutions and providing affordable care closer to patients' homes across different regions in India. This is likely to fortify Varian’s foothold in the Asia-Pacific radiation therapy market as India is expected to witness 1.8 million new cancer cases a year by 2025.
Varian’s Presence in India
It is encouraging to note that Mumbai’s first Varian Edge radiosurgery system was installed in 2016. In the same year, this California-based MedTech giant was selected by India’s Apollo Hospitals Group for the supply of 12 advanced medical linear accelerators and five brachytherapy systems to replace traditional cancer treatment machines.
The company’s Advanced Radiotherapy Clinical School is currently running courses at the Reliance Group's flagship Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai. (Read More: Varian & Reliance Group Tie Up to Enhance Cancer Care)
Additionally, last October, the first lung cancer patient in India was treated with Varian’s popular Halcyon system in Gujarat’s Sterling Cancer Hospital.
Another MedTech company that has a solid presence in the Indian cancer care space is Accuray Incorporated ARAY. Notably, the company’s flagship Radixact system currently experiences robust demand across the country.
Market Data Forecast predicts that the Asia-Pacific radiotherapy market is expected to witness a CAGR of 6.8% to reach $1.79 billion by 2023.
Growth of the aging population, technological innovations in radiotherapy products and increasing cases of cancer are currently fueling the market’s growth.
In this scenario, we believe the latest development to be a well-timed one for Varian.
In a year’s time, the stock has rallied 6.4% compared with the industry’s 4.4% growth. The current level is also higher than the S&P 500 index’s 1.3% decline.
Other Key Picks
Other top-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Stryker Corporation SYK and DexCom DXCM, each carrying a Zacks Rank of 2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Stryker’s long-term earnings growth rate is projected at 10%.
DexCom’s current-quarter earnings growth rate is expected to be 46.9%.
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