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Abbott Labs (ABT - Analyst Report) recently announced that the company obtained CE Marking (Conformite Europeenne) for its ARCHITECT Galectin-3 assay test.

We note that CE mark is mandatory confirmation for products placed in the European markets. Abbott developed this test in collabration with BG Medicine, Inc. (BGMD) to run on the ARCHITECT immunochemistry platform of Abbott..

The test is primarily aimed to enable doctors in assessing the prognosis of patients diagnosed with chronic heart failure (HF). ARCHITECT Galectin-3 assay test is available in several European countries.

Galectin-3 can indicate heart failure by chalking out the pathophysiology of heart failure.  Subsequently, the doctors can identify susceptible patients for heart failure who are at high risk.

Abbott continues to focus on the development of next-generation instruments and other advanced technologies along with expansion in emerging markets in its diagnostics business. 

Abbott looks to improve operating margins in this segment. In 2012, the company took steps to streamline various commercial operations in order to reduce costs and thereby improve efficiencies.

Meanwhile, Abbott is working on boosting its vascular products portfolio and expects to launch several products in the next five years.

The company intends to work on increasing international MitraClip sales and developing ABSORB, its bioresorbable vascular scaffold (BVS) device.

Abbott is also focusing on strengthening its drug eluting product portfolio, powered by the launch of Xience Xpedition drug-eluting stent in Europe in Aug 2012 and in the US in Jan 2013. Abbott expects to launch Xpedition in Japan in mid-2013 and market products in the Xience family.

We believe that Abbott is extremely diversified with businesses in nutrition, diagnostics, generic pharmaceuticals and medical devices after spinning off its pharmaceuticals business into a separate company, Abbvie Inc. (ABBV - Analyst Report).

Abbott currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Right now, Nuvasive, Inc. (NUVA - Snapshot Report) looks better placed in the medical devices sector with a Zacks Rank #1 (Buy).

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