As a major breakthrough for its vascular business, Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Free Report) recently received a CE Mark for its High Sensitive Troponin-I diagnostic test. This Troponin blood test, the first to win this recognition, is claimed to accurately predict the chances of heart attack, months or years in advance among apparently looking healthy people.
At present, cardiovascular diseases are the leading causes for death globally. Per a WHO report, in 2016 alone, 17.9 million people died from cardiovascular diseases, representing 31% of all universal deaths. Of these, 85% was due to heart attack and stroke. Based on this data, we consider Troponin-I’s entry into the European market to be highly strategic and timely.
Troponin-I at a Glance
Notably, Troponin I is a cardiac and skeletal muscle protein. It is examined for laboratory diagnosis of heart attack. Thisdiagnostic test is applied for the quantitative measurement of cardiac troponin I in whole blood or plasma. According to Abbott,this life-changing technology uses a biomarker, specific to the heart. As a result, it has potential to help doctors detect prospective heart patients or identify those at risk for developing heart disease.
it is important to note that the European guidelines traditionally recommend indirect heart health factors to determine risk for developing heart disease. These factors include cholesterol levels, blood pressure as well as if the person is diabetic or a smoker. However, a substantial body of research has shown that measuring a person's troponin levels using Abbott's High Sensitive Troponin-I test provides better predictive information to indicate a person's chances of developing future heart disease.
Sluggish Vascular Arm Gets a Revamp
Over the last few quarters, Abbott has been witnessing a declining revenue trend in its core Vascular product line. This underperformance organically was partly the due to the divestment of Abbott's medical optics and St. Jude's vascular closure businesses. However, several recent developments including the latest European approval of Troponin-I are expected to be accretive to the company’s vascular business growth.
Share Price Performance
Over the past year, shares of Abbott have outperformed its industry. The stock has rallied 18.8% compared with the industry's 10.9% rise.
Zacks Rank & Key Picks
Abbott currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Intuitive Surgical (ISRG - Free Report) , Amedisys, Inc. (AMED - Free Report) and Masimo Corporation (MASI - Free Report) .
Intuitive Surgical’s expected long-term earnings growth rate is 14.7%. The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
Amedisys’ expected long-term earnings growth rate is 19.4%. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at the moment. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Masimo’s expected long-term earnings growth rate is 14.8%. The stock has a Zacks Rank of 2 at present.
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