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Boston Scientific Unveils Stent for Pancreatitis Complications

In a bid to extend its footprint in the multibillion-dollar endoscopy equipment market, Boston Scientific Corporation BSX has commercially launched its FDA-cleared Axios stent and electrocautery enhanced delivery system.

Notably, this minimally invasive device is the world’s first stent that facilitates endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)-guided transluminal drainage of symptomatic pancreatic pseudocysts and certain types of walled-off pancreatic necrosis.

Boston Scientific acquired this unique device through its purchase of a startup medical device manufacturer, Xlumena, for $62.5 million in April last year.

Pancreatic necrosis refers to a serious infection usually associated with acute pancreatitis, while symptomatic pancreatic pseudocysts are a collection of tissue and fluids that form in one’s pancreas. Both these conditions refer to types of pancreatic fluid collection (PFCs) that occur in 5-16% of acute pancreatitis patients and 20-40% of chronic pancreatitis patients. Although some of these PFCs are self-resolving, the symptomatic forms cause severe symptoms and require treatment. 

We note that, although symptomatic PFCs can be treated surgically, surgery is associated with high rates of morbidity (7–37%) and mortality (6%).On the contrary, endoscopic solutions offer a less invasive treatment option facilitating shorter hospital stays, better physical and mental health of patients, as well as lower costs.

The aforementioned Axios system comprises a cautery-enabled access catheter with the therapeutic Axios Stent for a streamlined, exchange-free procedure. Per management, the Axios System offers saves on time compared to the non-electrocautery enhanced systems. This in turn facilitates faster room turnover, reducing average labor costs, anesthesia time, and potentially reduces fluoroscopy exposure for both patients and healthcare providers.

Moreover, the inherent features of the Axios System reduce the risk of leakage and migration during the procedure. This apart, the MRI-safe Axios stent is the only removable metal stent in the U.S. that is allowed for PFC drainage. The large diameter design of the stent is an additional positive that particularly makes it cost-effective.

We expect this cost-efficient aspect of the Axios System to intrigue Boston Scientific’s investors further, since rising healthcare cost, as a percentage of GDP, has lately become an intimidating issue for the U.S. economy. In fact, as per a PwC report, this cost is likely to rise 6.5% in 2016.

Going ahead, Boston Scientific is presently engaged in consistent innovation of its endoscopic ultrasound and other therapeutic categories, including pulmonary and oncology, to further enhance its leadership in the global endoscopy equipment market, which is expected to reach a value of $33.6 billion by 2020.

Currently, Boston Scientific carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked medical products stocks are Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. HRC, LeMaitre Vascular, Inc. LMAT and Orthofix International N.V. OFIX. All the three stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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BOSTON SCIENTIF (BSX): Free Stock Analysis Report
ORTHOFIX INTL (OFIX): Free Stock Analysis Report
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