MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) is poised to take the lead in the transcatheter aortic valve market with its Sapient 3 replacement heart valve, according to Leerink Partners analyst Danielle Antalffy.
Writing yesterday in a note to investors following the annual London Valve meeting, Antalffy said physicians there surveyed as part of Leerink’s Medacorp program told her that the Sapien 3, notwithstanding newer TAVI offerings from rivals Medtronic (NYSE:MDT), Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) and Direct Flow Medical.
"Even with the promise of MDT’s Evolut R, all 4 physicians unanimously agreed that EW’s next-gen Sapien 3 is the best valve on the market. The general consensus seemed to be that Sapien 3 would retain the number 1 market share position, while MDT and a 3rd player – potentially BSX and/or privately-held Direct Flow – would battle for the 2nd and 3rd spots," she wrote.
Two of the physicians Antalffy queried said they’ve flipped their volumes from being majority CoreValve users to Sapien 3, she wrote.
"One physician is now at 60% Sapien 3 and growing, whereas he was consistently 15% in years past. BSX’s Lotus is also highly regarded, but physicians did voice concern about the higher pacer rate. While better sizing could help mitigate this issue, 1 physician felt it wasn’t likely to reach the low levels of Sapien 3," according to Antalffy, who reiterated her "outperform" rating and raised her price target on EW shares to $120 apiece.
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