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More Backing for HOLX Tomosynthesis

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Leading player in the women’s health market Hologic Inc. (HOLX - Free Report) continues to leap forward with positive data supporting the adoption of its tomosynthesis technology. The company stated that the latest online publication of a new study by European Radiology supports the efficacy of the company’s tomosynthesis technology over the 2-dimensional (2D) imaging in breast cancer screening programs.

The European Radiology paper is the first peer-reviewed publication to examine the performance of double reading of 2D mammography in contrast to double reading of 2D mammography plus tomosynthesis imaging in a large prospective clinical study. The study – ‘Prospective Trial Comparing Full-field Digital Mammography (FFDM) versus Combined FFDM and Tomosynthesis in a Population-based Screening Programme Using Independent Double Reading with Arbitration’ shows the technical advancement of Hologic’s breast tomosynthesis technology.

The study encompassed 12,621 screening examinations of women participating in the Oslo Tomosynthesis Screening Trial. The researchers concluded that double-reading of tomosynthesis based examinations decreased false-positive interpretations by 18%. Also, double-reading of tomosynthesis based examinations improved breast cancer detection by 30%.

The Oslo data further supports the use of Hologic’s tomosynthesis technology to improve detection rate. Management is optimistic that the proven strong clinical benefits of its tomosynthesis technology should improve adoption rates.  

Earlier, in Jan 2013, the company disclosed results from the crucial Oslo clinical study which advocates the use of Hologic’s 3D breast tomosynthesis screening technology in addition to the 2D breast screening exam. Management states this to be a landmark revelation as the Oslo trial is the first large-scale prospective study to support its 3D tomosynthesis technology platform.

Our View

We believe that publication of peer-reviewed study should ramp up adoption rates and support Hologic’s efforts to gain reimbursement for its tomosynthesis technology. Notably, company expectations from the tomosynthesis technology are very high. Hologic’s consistent efforts to promote the technology are likely to yield positive results.

Currently, the stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). While we remain on the sidelines for Hologic, other healthcare stocks such as Cyberonics Inc. and Cepheid , carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) warrant a look. Mindray Medical International Limited , carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) is also worth considering.

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