Medtronic finds biventricular pacing may offer significant clinical advantage Medtronic announced interim findings from the BLOCK HF trial, which show that biventricular pacing may offer a significant clinical advantage and improved patient outcomes over conventional right ventricular pacing among patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction and atrioventricular block who are indicated for a pacemaker. Presented as a late-breaking clinical trial at the American Heart Association's 2012 Scientific Sessions, BLOCK HF shows a 27% relative risk reduction in the composite of death and healthcare utilization visits requiring intravenous heart failure therapy among this patient population. The CRT devices used in the BLOCK HF trial are not approved by the FDA for the patient population studied at this time.
St. Jude Medical downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo Wells Fargo downgraded St. Jude Medical (STJ) to Market Perform saying competitive pressures will drive 2015 market share losses in the company's cardiac rhythm management business, which represents 50% of total sales. Wells believes the launch of CardioMEMS will not be strong enough to offset the headwinds in CRM unit. The firm thinks Boston Scientific's (BSX) earlier than expected approval for its next generation subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator called Emblem will drive share gains against St. Jude and Medtronic (MDT) in the single chamber ICD market. Wells cut its price target range for St. Jude shares to $69-$70 from $73-$74. The medical technology company closed yesterday down $2.01 to $65.45.