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BSX's Stent Tops Abbott

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Boston Scientific’s (BSX - Free Report) recently released endpoint data of a clinical trial showed the excellence of the company’s Promus Element Everolimus-Eluting Platinum Chromium (PtCr) Coronary Stent System over its major peer Abbott Laboratories’ (ABT - Free Report) Cobalt Chromium (CoCr) Xience V Everolimus-Eluting Coronary Stent System.

This was a huge achievement for BSX. The data, which was tracked for a period of three years, was presented in the American College of Cardiology in San Francisco. The report reflects the efficiency of Promus Element over Abbott’s Xience V over that period of time.

The 3-year trial reported a 3.5% target lesion revascularization (TLR) rate for the Promus Element Stent, compared to 4.9% for the Xience V Stent. Moreover, keeping at par with the company’s earlier data, the trial result portrayed that unplanned stenting has been significantly reduced with Promus Element compared to Xience V including a significantly lower rate of inadequate lesion coverage. A separate data showed improved blood flow through Promus Element as it has less vessel straightening characteristics compared to Xience V.

The drug-eluting stent business in the U.S. continues to witness challenges of pricing pressure, lower procedural volume and lower penetration rates. Global sales of the coronary stent system (within Interventional Cardiology) declined 12.6% to $333 million. The downside was due to disappointing performances of the drug-eluting stents that declined 12.4% to $312 million and the bare-metal stents that plunged 16% to $21 million.

However, Boston Scientific is resorting to all available means to return to growth. The company has a strong pipeline of products under development, the launch of which should drive the top line. Last month, BSX received CE Mark approval for the Promus PREMIER Everolimus-Eluting Platinum Chromium Coronary Stent System. Subsequent to the approval, the company has been working on the European market launch of this next-generation durable polymer drug-eluting stent.

We also note that Boston Scientific is striving to penetrate the emerging markets, including India, Brazil and China, with its Element platform. The company expects this to continue to accelerate growth through the end of the current fiscal. We expect these factors to benefit the company over the long term. With approximately 4 million people across the world suffering from cardiovascular disease and being treated with stents, Boston Scientific is optimistic about delivering better numbers in the upcoming quarters.

Boston Scientific now carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other medical device stocks worth a look are Cyberonics Inc. and Given Imaging. . Both the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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