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Abbott Partners Bigfoot Biomedical to Expand in Diabetics

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Illinois-based global medical device company Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Free Report) partnered with Bigfoot Biomedical to solidify its footprint in the rapidly growing diabetes therapeutics market.

Leveraged on Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre glucose sensing technology, the collaboration will result in innovation and marketing of insulin delivery systems.

The alliance will help the companies develop patient-friendly insulin delivery systems with no calibration glucose sensor. Per management, an important trial on the combined technological systems is projected to initiate in 2018 at clinical research sites across the U.S.

Abbott has been moving steadily toward development in its diabetics segment. Recently, the company announced receipt of Health Canada License for FreeStyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System. This will further stimulate growth in the Diabetes Care sales segment, which was up 20.2% in first-quarter 2017 on continued consumer acceptance of FreeStyle Libre internationally.

We expect Freestyle Libre to further contribute to Abbott’s top line as along with the Canadian development, the French Health Ministry recently approved national reimbursement for the device.

Per a report by Mordor Intelligence, the global market for diabetes care devices is projected to value $30.25 billion by 2021 witnessing a CAGR of 5.93%. Moreover, the insulin delivery devices market is expected to see a CAGR of 5.59% to roughly $14.22 billion in 2019.

Thus, considering the market potential and Abbott’s current developments in the diabetes care segment, this collaboration seems to be a lucrative and strategically aligned one.

We believe an ageing population, unhealthy lifestyle and rising awareness and expenditure in healthcare will continue to drive growth in the diabetes market. However, this market is dominated by many well established players, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) being the most prominent one.  In this space, Johnson & Johnson also has a tie-up with U.S.-based Animas Corporation to successfully develop and innovate insulin delivery systems.

Moreover, Abbott has been gaining investor confidence on consistent positive results. Over the past three months, the company’s share price has outperformed the Zacks categorized Medical - Instruments sub-industry. The stock has gained 12.7%, higher than the broader industry’s gain of 11.0%. The company has also outperformed the 5.1% gain of the S&P 500 market over the same time frame.

Zacks Rank & Other Key Picks

Abbott currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). A few other top-ranked medical stocks are Edwards Lifesciences Corporation (EW - Free Report) and ABIOMED, Inc. (ABMD - Free Report) . Notably, Edwards Lifesciences sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), while ABIOMED carries a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Edwards Lifesciences has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 15.22%. The stock has gained around 23.0% over the last three months.

ABIOMED has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 32.5%. The stock has gained around 14.8% over the last three months.

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