Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) keeps hitting high notes on Wall Street, most recently setting a new 4-year record in the days following the publication of a new study touting the company’s Alair bronchial thermoplasty system.
The medical device giant announced this week that the Alair system proved safe and effective in reducing severe asthma attacks over at least 5 years, and BSX shares jumped to $11.67 apiece on September 5, 2013, a high not seen since September 2009.
Trial results showed that the Alair treatment helped reduce emergency room visits in 88% of patients and lowered the rate of "severe exacerbations" in 48% of patients, according to a press release. High resolution imaging showed no clinically significant structural changes in treated airways.
The Alair system, which Boston Scientific nabbed when it acquired Asthmatx Inc. for $194 million in September 2010, delivers precise thermal energy lung to tissue via bronchoscope to reduce excessively smooth muscle, decreasing the airway’s ability to constrict. The device won FDA approval in April 2010, becoming the first device-based asthma treatment approved by the watchdog agency.
The new post-approval study results, published in the prestigious Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, suggest that the therapy may have other positive side effects, particularly by reducing patients’ reliance on oral steroids that are commonly used to stem asthma attacks.
"Despite great advances over the past few decades in asthma medications, many patients with severe asthma still can’t get their disease under control and often have few treatment options other than oral steroids," Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America external affairs vice president Mike Tringale said on behalf of the company. "The potential to provide a long-term reduction in emergency room visits, asthma attacks and their associated need for oral steroid treatment is very important to patients with asthma."
BSX shares were still up today, trading at $11.59 as of about 2:00 p.m.