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Abbott (ABT) Gets FDA Nod for Spinal Cord Stimulation System

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Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Free Report) recently received FDA approval for its Proclaim XR recharge-free neurostimulation system for people with chronic pain. The platform offers a low dose of the company's BurstDR stimulation waveform, which was created on the recommendations of clinicians to imitate natural patterns found in the brain.

Following the approval, Abbott will be able to provide better, customized treatment options to patients. With the clearance, the company aims to consolidate its position in the global spinal cord stimulation (“SCS”) market.

About Proclaim XR

Proclaim XR uses low doses of mild electrical pulses (BurstDR stimulation) to alter pain signals as they travel from the spinal cord to the brain. The use of lower doses of SCS helps to extend the system's battery life. This reduces hassles of recharging for at least the next 10 years.


The system was developed on positive outcomes of Abbott’s BurstDR micrOdosing stimuLation in De-novo patients (“BOLD”) study. The study proved that the use of low-energy BurstDR dosing program provided more pain reliefs, with less than six hours of battery use per day.

How is Proclaim XR an Improvement?

The continuous delivery of the BurstDR stimulation at low levels allows patients to experience the same level of pain relief as in the traditional stimulation systems. The Proclaim XR platform uses familiar mediums like the Apple mobile digital devices and Bluetooth wireless technology to deliver the targeted results of pain management.

The company claims that as the platform is mobile app-based and has upgradeable software; patients will no longer need surgery to use future advances in this technology.

Further, Proclaim XR is an upgradation of the traditional system (which is required to be recharged daily) because it does not use higher frequencies or multiple waveforms, which use more energy.

Industry Prospects

Per a report by Market Data Forecast, the global SCS market was estimated at $1,871.6 million in 2018 and is expected to reach $2,827.4 million by the end of 2023, with a CAGR of 8.6%. The key factors driving the market are the growing elderly population and the speedy technological advancements made in SCS. Also, the promising health reimbursement policies, currently available in the United States, are other contributing factors.

Given the current market potential, this approval is well-timed.

Recent Developments

Of late, Abbott has made certain developments in its neuromodulation portfolio.

The company has announced results of a new study, which confirmed that higher levels of a protein measured, with Abbott's blood test under development, could help detect mild traumatic brain injuries (“TBI”s), even when a CT scan did not detect it.

Price Performance

The company’s shares have gained 12.9% in the past year against the industry’s decline of 1.3%. Moreover, the S&P 500 index inched up 0.7% during the same period.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Currently, Abbott carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are Capricor Therapeutics, Inc CAPR, GW Pharmaceuticals PLC GWPH and Neurotrope, Inc NTRP.

Capricor, currently carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), has a projected third-quarter 2019 earnings growth rate of 28.2%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

GW Pharmaceuticals estimates third-quarter earnings growth rate at 70.2%. It currently flaunts a Zacks Rank #1.

Neurotrope, with a Zacks Rank #1 at present, has a projected third-quarter earnings growth rate of 27.7%.

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