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Covidien plc (COV - Analyst Report) announced that it has completed enrolling patients for two of its studies – Visibility Iliac and Durability Iliac. The studies will be analyzing the efficacy and safety of using either balloon expandable or self-expandable stents in treating iliac artery disease.    

The common and external iliac arteries, located in the lower abdomen, deliver blood to the arteries in the legs. The vessels might get clogged with plaque, and lead to severe complications if left untreated. According to the American Heart Association, about 8 million people across the U.S. ail from peripheral arterial disease (PAD).

A total of 150 patients have been enrolled in the iliac studies, which are being conducted across 23 centers in the U.S. and Europe. Half of the patients are being treated with Covidien’s Visi-Pro balloon expandable stent system under the Visibility Iliac study, while the other half is being treated with either the EverFlex self-expanding stent system or the Protégé GPS self-expanding nitinol stent and delivery technology under the Durability Iliac study. Initial effects of the stents will be monitored for 9 months and the patients will be observed for a total of 3 years.  

Covidien is a leading global health care products company with an impressive history of developing and manufacturing high-quality products in a cost-effective manner. We believe that clinical success of the studies will help this international health care products major enhance its vascular offerings to treat PAD.

Revenues from Covidien’s vascular products grew 7% year over year in the first quarter of 2013. Sales were backed by solid growth across neurovascular and peripheral vascular offerings. The company has received the CE Mark approval for its EverFlex Self-expanding peripheral stent with Entrust Delivery System in Jan 2013.

Covidien also scooped up Calif.-based CV Ingenuity, which specializes in the production of devices used for the treatment of PAD, in Jan 2013. Its product offerings are utilized to heal natural vessels, clear vascular blockages and prevent restenosis. The company’s key product, a Drug Coated Balloon (DCB) platform with a unique tunable rapid-release system, is still in the investigational phase.

Covidien carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Companies from the medical sector, such as DynaVox Inc. , Nuvasive, Inc. (NUVA - Snapshot Report), Cyberonics Inc. (CYBX - Analyst Report), with Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), appear impressive.

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