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ResMed (RMD - Analyst Report) recently completed patient enrollment for the international, randomized study – SERVE-HF. The study will be conducted on 1,325 participants to assess whether treatment of central sleep-disordered breathing (central sleep apnea) can improve survival and outcomes of patients with stable heart failure.

SERVE-HF is being carried out in over 80 sites across the globe. These sites are located in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Finland, France, the U.K., the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Australia.

SERVE-HF commenced in 2008 to establish the health impact of the adequate treatment of central sleep-disordered breathing on mortality and morbidity in heart failure patients. The study is expected to round off by mid-2015. ResMed expects the results in the first half of 2016.

SERVE-HF will mainly establish whether controlling central sleep apnea in patients with Cheyne–Stokes respiration (CSA-CSR) through ResMed’s PaceWave proprietary Minute Ventilation ASV technology (found in the company’s AutoSet CS and VPAP Adapt devices) will lead to higher survival rates and reduce hospitalizations in the patient population.

According to findings, roughly 14 million Europeans suffer from heart failure. Additionally, in these patients, central sleep-disordered breathing is highly prevalent co-morbidity. Articles published in medical journals like Pulmonary Medicine, European Journal of Heart Failure and Archives of Cardiovascular Disease reveal that approximately 30%-50% of heart patients are highly prone to this co-morbid condition.

Given this backdrop, the outcome of the SERVE-HF study will have crucial impact on the treatment of these co-morbid conditions. A health economics analysis will further determine the potential economic gains from ResMed’s technology to treat CSA-CSR.

ResMed currently holds a major position in the worldwide market for generators, masks, and related accessories for the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing. Favorable outcomes from this breakthrough clinical study that demonstrate the clinical efficacy of ResMed’s AutoSet CS and VPAP Adapt devices will be a major boost for the company.

Considering the market overview, there is massive growth opportunity driven by lifestyle trends, further penetration and increasing awareness. Currently, ResMed carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

While we remain on the sidelines for ResMed, other medical sector stocks like Alere Inc. (ALR - Snapshot Report), Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX - Analyst Report) and LeMaitre Vascular, Inc. (LMAT - Snapshot Report) are worth considering. Alere carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) whereas the other two are Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stocks.

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