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BSX Funding for Women's Health

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Keeping in line with its strategy of balanced expansion through all the segments, recently medical device major Boston Scientific Corp (BSX - Free Report) came up with research and education funding of over $1 million for its women’s health segment. The company provided this grant to the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network (PFDN) for the SUPeR clinical trial which will evaluate the outcomes of two different surgical options for women with uterine prolapse.

Uterine prolapse is a form of female genital prolapse. It is also known as pelvic organ prolapse. This occurs when the tissue and muscles of the pelvic floor fail to support the pelvic organs, resulting in internal sagging or drooping of organs such as the bladder, uterus or rectum. 

Currently this market is growing handsomely with almost 28 million women in the US living with at least one pelvic floor disorder. Apart from pelvic organ prolapse, the other most common form of this disorder is urinary incontinence, the inability to hold urine.

According to Boston scientific, in the SUPeR study there will be enrollments of 180 women who opt for uterine prolapse surgery and have no further plans to bear children.  These patients will be randomly assigned either a uterine-preserving transvaginal mesh repair using the Boston Scientific Uphold LITE Vaginal Support System or traditional surgery which includes a vaginal hysterectomy.  

Post-surgery, patients will be evaluated every six months for another five years to determine surgical success.  The company expects the data to be available in 2017 and the final outcome in another one year.

The Urology/Women’s Health segment (presently contributing 7% of total revenues) of Boston Scientific develops and manufactures devices to treat various urological and gynecological disorders. During the first quarter of 2013, the worldwide net sales of these products were $118 million, down approximately 2% on a year over year basis (up 1% at constant exchange rate or CER).

In spite of several product launches during the quarter with growth in the international market, this division reported a disappointing quarter due to declines in the Women's Health revenues.

Net sales from the Women's Health business declined 7% in the last reported quarter primarily due to continued pressures on elective procedures in the U.S. and lower U.S. sales following the FDA release of a Public Health Notice update in July 2011 regarding complications related to the use of urogynecologic surgical mesh for pelvic organ prolapse.

However, the company is still optimistic about this business as it believes this division has the growth opportunity with respect to recent product launches in the U.S. and continued expansion of the global footprint.

Boston Scientific currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other medical sector stocks that warrant a look are Conceptus Inc. , Haemonetics Inc. (HAE - Free Report) and Cyberonics Inc. .

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