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Analyst Blog

Medical device major St. Jude Medical, Inc. (STJ - Free Report) recently announced the U.S. FDA approval and first implant of its St. Jude Medical Infinity Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) system. Its DBS directional leads are the first of its kind to be approved in the U.S. The system is an advanced treatment option for patients suffering from common movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) and essential tremor.

Movement disorders are neurological events caused by a communication breakdown in the central nervous system leading to major loss of muscle control, involuntary movement and reduced coordination. There is presently no proven treatment for movement disorders which can alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life.

PD, which is the most common movement disorder, is on the rise due to an increase in the ageing population base. As per a GlobalData report,the PD treatment market is estimated to reach a value of $5.3 billion by 2022, at CAGR of 4%. We feel that St. Jude Medical is capable of meeting the clinical needs of the movement disorder patients through the latest initiative.

Meanwhile, the Infinity DBS system was first implanted by Dr. Kelly Foote, professor of neurosurgery and co-director of the University of Florida Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration at the UF Health Shands Hospital. The Infinity DBS system carries a newly designed DBS lead with segmented contacts. According to University of Florida Center, the new DBS system with advanced directional leads can help in reducing adverse effects of movement disorders and can improve outcome as well. The system blocks electric signals from areas of the brain that cause side effects such as tremors, stiffness, slow movement etc.

St. Jude Medical is offering the DBS system in combination with the first and only wireless iOS software platform. The system uses a clinician programmer with an iPad mini mobile digital device and an iPod touch mobile digital device patient controller with Bluetooth LE connectivity that can speed up the programming process for neurologists. Alongside, it offers patients the best possible way to manage symptoms. Meanwhile, the system battery is available in two sizes to accommodate different body types and offers a maintenance-free, ongoing recharge-free option for DBS therapy.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

St. Jude Medical currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Better-ranked stocks in the medical product sector are GW Pharmaceuticals plc (GWPH - Free Report) , Quidel Corp. (QDEL - Free Report) and Cardiovascular Systems Inc. (CSII - Free Report) . All these stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

GW Pharmaceuticals saw a 91.68% gain year to date, much higher than the S&P 500’s 5.72% over the same time frame. The stock’s four-quarter average earning surprise is 41.67%.

Quidel gained 19.34% in the past one year, far better than the S&P 500’s 7.32%. Over the next five years, the stock is estimated to record earnings growth rate of 20%, higher than the industry average of 14.8%. It has a trailing four-quarter average earning surprise of 59.39%.

Cardiovascular Systems saw a 77.02% surge over the past one year compared to the S&P 500’s 7.32%. Over the next five years, the stock is forecasted to see 22.5% earnings growth compared to the industry average of 14.8%.

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