Shares of St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) got a boost on Wall Street yesterday after the company announced that it’s met a stopping rule in the Respect clinical trial of its Amplatzer structural heart defect treatment.
That means the study’s met the required number of primary events to meet its protocol requirements, which in turn means St. Jude can close patient enrollment in the trial.
The St. Paul-based medical device maker bought the Amplatzer technology along with AGA Medical for $1.03 billion in 2010. It’s a catheter-based treatment designed to close the patent foramen ovale, a congenital defect that leaves an opening in the atrial septum separating the upper two chambers of the heart.
The 980-patient Respect trial is examining whether the Amplatzer can prevent “cryptogenic” stroke – strokes whose cause is unknown – in patients with PFO.
The condition is believed to play a role in such mysterious strokes, but linking a treatment with preventing stroke and ischemia proved elusive for at least one other company.
NMT Medical ran aground after a clinical trial of its StarFlex implant for treating PFO failed to show that it could prevent recurrent stroke and transient ischemic attack. W.L. Gore later bought bankrupt NMT’s assets at auction.
For STJ, the positive trial news sent shares up nearly 2% yesterday, to a $34.93 close. Investors on The Street retrenched somewhat today, with shares fetching $34.74 as of about 12:30 p.m., down half a percent.