Boston Scientific (BSX) is likely to receive Food and Drug Administration approval for a new method of treating abnormal heartbeats, analysts said Monday. BSX stock surged on the news.
The company tested a method known as pulsed field ablation in patients with atrial fibrillation, a type of abnormal heart rhythm. Pulsed field ablation uses electrical impulses to selectively kill problem heart cells. So Boston Scientific compared its approach to thermal ablation, a method that uses extremely cold temperatures to achieve the same thing.
Over a year, 73.3% of patients treated with Boston Scientific’s technology had a normalized heartbeat compared to 71.3% of patients treated with the standard procedure. Also, the newer approach appeared to be just as safe as thermal ablation.
In today’s stock market, BSX shares rose 6% to close at 53.79.
The two methods also appeared to have relatively similar safety profiles, with one important caveat. One patient who received pulsed field ablation died. The patient died likely due to an error in catheter use, “but not related to pulsed field ablation delivery,” UBS analyst Danielle Antalffy said in a client report.
BSX Stock: Side Effects on Both Platforms
The company claims that side effects aren’t unique to pulsed-field ablation or thermal ablation, Antalffy said, adding that she agrees with that stance.
“In general, failed complications are exceedingly rare, with this occurrence largely due to the dynamics of operator inexperience and may become less frequent as familiarity with the device increases,” said Antalffy. “Practical usage and safety rates indicate that pulsed field ablation remains a safe procedure with over 25,000 cases performed worldwide.”
Antalffy maintained a Buy rating and price target of 63 on BSX stock.
Needham analyst Mike Matson says the results position Boston Scientific to capture a significant share of the electrophysiology market. This market includes ablation technology, as well as mapping systems and other technologies affecting the electrical systems of the heart. Further, Johnson&Johnson (JNJ) is the clear leader in this market with a 48% market share, he said.
“We estimate the global electrophysiology market to be worth US$7.6 billion in 2022 and project that it can grow to US$9.4 billion in 2024,” he said in his statement to the Customers.
Follow Allison Gatlin on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter at @IBD_AGatlin.
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