Heart pumps: Thoratec, HeartWare devices “basically equivalent” | Wall Street Beat

MassDevice.com Wall Street Beat

Thoratec (NSDQ:THOR) and HeartWare International (NSDQ:HTWR) are poised to duke it out for the ever-growing heart pump market with devices that are "basically equivalent," according to a high-volume Mid-west cardiologist who spoke with Leerink Swann analysts last week.

The rival heart pump makers may be splitting a $2.5-$3 billion market for left ventricular assist devices as heart donors becoming increasingly scarce and more patients opt for heart pumps as a destination therapy, according to the unnamed physician.

"This physician also views THOR’s HeartMate II and HTWR’s HVAD as basically equivalent devices from a safety and efficacy standpoint," Leerink analysts wrote. "Still, he did note the lack of long-term data for HTWR’s HVAD as potentially detrimental to adoption, at least at his practice."

The anonymous physician appeared to corroborate analysts’ expectations that the heart pump market will see an annual compounded growth rate of 25%.

 Devices to replace drugs
Innovating medical devices that replace existing drug therapies is an attractive field to play in, according to venture capital firms.

Both Morganthaler Ventures and Advanced Technology Ventures are looking to get a foothold in the space, using as a compass their early success with Ardian, a company which pioneered renal denervation and was acquired in 2010 by Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) in a deal valued at about $1 billion.  
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 Biolase touts new ticker

Dental devices maker Biolase (NSDQ:BIOL), which formerly traded under the BLTI ticker on the Nasdaq stock exchange, officially switched to its new BIOL ticker today. In a separate release, the company landed a new 2-year $8 million revolving credit facility with Comerica Bank.
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 Deals Roundup

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 Analysts’ ups and downs

  • Abiomed (NSDQ:ABMD): Zacks maintains "outperform" rating, $25 price target
  • HeartWare International (NSDQ:HTWR): Leerink Swann maintains "outperform" rating, $95 price target
  • Optos plc (LON:OPTS): Canaccord Genuity lowers price target from 333P to 306P, maintains "buy" rating
  • Wright Medical (NSDQ:WMGI): Zacks maintains "neutral" rating, $21 price target

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