Abbott, St. Jude Medical re-up ‘cardiovascular alliance’ | Wall Street Beat Wall Street Beat

Abbott (NYSE:ABT) and St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) are renewing and expanding an alliance to co-market their cardiovascular products, including Abbott’s market-leading Xience coronary stent line.

The deal, which extends a pact the companies inked in 2008, also includes St. Jude’s line of cardiac rhythm management, electrophysiology and cardiology products.

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It will see Abbott and St. Jude jointly promote the other’s product offerings to U.S. hospital customers, according to a press release, and includes a separate agreement giving Abbott U.S. distribution rights for St. Jude’s hybrid Ilumien FFR/OCT platform and its RadiAnalyzer Xpress system.

 Analyst: Thoratec, HeartWare to split the LVAD market
Thoratec (NSDQ:THOR) and HeartWare International (NSDQ:HTWR) are likely to carve out a 50-50 split of the market for left ventricular assist devices, at least for the next few years, according to "a high-volume EU cardiothoracic surgeon" from "1 of the largest LVAD implanting centers worldwide."

Leerink Swann analysts grilled the doc over the state of the LVAD market overseas, according to a research note to investors, coming away with 3 key points:

  1. “International LVAD market growth is poised to continue at a sustainable low-to-mid-teens pace for the next few years"
  2. "Thrombus concerns with HeartWare’s HVAD – which initially arose at last year’s ISHLT meeting – have eased significantly, at least amongst physicians"
  3. "International competitive dynamics appear basically stable with major shifts in market share for THOR/HTWR seemingly unlikely in the near-term, in line with our basically 50%/50% split through 2015"

HTWR shares plunged after concerns over higher blood clot rates surfaced last year, but the physician interviewed by Leerink said the concerns came as a surprise to cardiac surgeons, prompting initial caution that quickly eased, according to the note.

"But after looking at data specific to his center, he found a 3.5%  thrombus rate with HVAD – basically in line with the low-single-digit rate that Thoratec’s HeartMate II has historically generated. And he cited other centers with HVAD thrombus rates in the 3%-5% range,  but ‘never exceeding 5%,’" the researchers wrote. "Still, he did also note that patient selection and post-operative patient management with HVAD played  a meaningful role in driving that lower thrombus rate. With HVAD, patients at his practice receive heparin post-operation vs. none with HeartMate II."
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 Arrhythmia Research releases Q1 prelims
Arrhythmia Research Technology (NYSE:HRT) said it was unable to file its annual report with the SEC by its April 16 deadline "due to an ongoing internal review by the Audit Committee and auditors relating to the adjustments to the calculation of the tax deferred assets in the company’s Canadian subsidiary, RMDDx Corp.," according to a regulatory filing.

Arrhythmia Research said it expects to post preliminary revenues of $24.3 million and net losses of $1.7 million.
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 ETView Medical inks Taiwan distribution deal

ETView Medical (TLV:TLV) inked a 2-year distribution deal with Champ Medics Co. to market its VivaSight airway management platform in Taiwan.
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 DeHaier Medical in Chinese distribution deal with Timesco
Dehaier Medical Systems (NSDQ:DHRM) signed a 3-year distribution pact to sell Timesco of London’s Optima laryngoscope in China.
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 Nephros licences filtration tech from Medica
Nephros (OTC:NEPH) said it signed license & supply deal with Medica for exclusive global rights to sell the Italian company’s Medisulfone ultrafiltration technology.
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 Toshiba’s Vital Images inks MR deal with Olea
Toshiba Medical Systems‘ (TYO:6502) Vital Images subsidiary and Olea Medical are partnering to integrate thin-client advanced neurological MR solutions on Vital Image’s VitreaAdvanced enterprise visualization software.
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 SurgLine launches subsidiary to partner with spine surgeons
SurgLine Internationalsaid it’s formed SurgLine MDC Holdings LLC to pursue "cost containment of surgical implants in the operating room for hospitals and acute surgery centers," structured so that SMDC owns a minimum of 60% of each operating entity.
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 Funding Roundup

 Analysts’ ups and downs

  • Abiomed (NSDQ:ABMD): Jefferies & Co. boosts price target from $25 to $28, maintains "buy" rating.
  • HeartWare International (NSDQ:HTWR): Zacks reiterates "neutral" rating, $70 price target.
  • Intuitive Surgical (NSDQ:ISRG): Barclays raises from "equal weight" to "overweight;" Zacks rates "#1 rank (strong buy)."
  • Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB): Bank of America reiterates "buy" rating, raises price target from $80 to $84.

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