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Leading provider of heart support technologies, ABIOMED, Inc. (ABMD - Analyst Report) announced its acquisition of an exclusive license from collaboration partner Opsens, to utilize the latter’s breakthrough optical sensor technology in the field of cardio-circulatory assist devices. In a few trading sessions following the announcement, shares of ABIOMED climbed approximately 4.0% to close at $24.95 yesterday.

Per the licensing agreement, Opsens' miniature optical pressure sensors will be integrated into ABIOMED’s flagship Impella heart pump catheters to provide robust blood pressure measurements that can help enhance Impella’s performance and ease-of-use.

Opsens' optical sensors will allow for further improvements in set-up time, besides providing high-quality pressure monitoring capability that can eventually be used to help automate the control and operation of the Impella pump in the catheterization lab.

This licensing agreement – which secures ABIOMED's rights to the technology and gives the company the right to manufacture the sensors – is the continuation of an initial partnership entered between Opsens and ABIOMED in Jan 2010.

Last month, ABIOMED had announced successful completion of patient enrolment in the Recover Right clinical trial of its Impella RP in the U.S. The company plans to use the results from the trial to apply for a Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) approval, for which it has already received a Humanitarian Use Device (HUD) approval in Jul 2012.

More recently, ABIOMED secured CE Mark approval to market its Impella RP (Right Peripheral) heart pump in the European Union, following which, it anticipates the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) go-ahead for this novel product by Feb 2015.

ABIOMED is witnessing strong demand for its Impella line of products as an increasing number of patients are being treated with these devices. With the last reported quarter posting double-digit rise in Impella revenues, Impella utilization continues to grow at an impressive pace.

ABIOMED presently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks worth a look in the medical instruments industry are Syneron Medical Ltd. (ELOS - Snapshot Report), Delcath Systems, Inc. and Accuray Incorporated (ARAY - Analyst Report). While Syneron Medical and Delcath Systems both sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Accuray retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
 

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