Boston Scientific targets structural heart, international market growth in 2019
- Boston Scientific will look to integrate its many 2018 acquisitions, grow its structural heart business by 50% and keep expanding in emerging markets this year, company officials said Wednesday. The device giant will cool its pace of M&A in 2019, but is still poised for some potential tuck-in acquisitions.
- The company confirmed 2018 reported sales growth of 6.3% in the fourth quarter, or roughly $2.56 billion, nearing the upper end of the company's guidance range. Results were led by performance growth in MedSurg (7.4%), followed by Cardiovascular (6.3%) and Rhythm and Neuro (5.1%).
- The medical device giant set yearly guidance for 2019 at 7% to 8.5% organic revenue growth. In 2018, Boston Scientific reached $9.823 billion in total sales, or reported growth of 8.6%, in line with preliminary data announced ahead of last month's J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference presentation.
Boston Scientific entered 2019 on the heels of a $325 million buyout of mitral regurgitation player Millipede, capping a year of industry-leading M&A, the fruits of which the company intends to leverage this year.
The most significant of those deals was a $4.2 billion pick-up of BTG, which Boston Scientific said is set to close in the second quarter of 2019 and hopes will strengthen its position in interventional oncology. Additionally, CEO Mike Mahoney said he has "zero concerns" about the company's ability to also integrate men's health acquisitions Augmenix and NxThera and TAVR procedure enhancement Claret.
Executives are targeting $700 million to $725 million in total structural heart sales in 2019, which would represent 50% growth in the business. Among the products driving the bullish outlook is the TAVR Lotus Edge system, which Boston Scientific expects will gain approval early in the second quarter. The company plans a "controlled launch" in the U.S. in the second quarter, citing a desire to build the product's reputation and incrementally widen the rollout each quarter.
The company also said it will release its next-generation Watchman implant for certain atrial fibrillation patients in Europe in the first half of 2019.
CEO Mike Mahoney also addressed controversy surrounding the company's Eluvia paclitaxel-eluting stents, the use of which was recently flagged in the Journal of the American Heart Association as among a category of products leading to higher mortality rates for patients peripheral artery disease. Mahoney said FDA's letter asserting that those products' benefits still outweigh their risks should serve to reassure physicians and patients of the products' safety.
Geographically, Europe, the Middle East and Africa saw 12.2% yearly growth, compared to 8.8% in Asia-Pacific and 6.8% in Latin America and Canada. Company leadership said Japan will be a growing market for the company in 2019, with a launch of Watchman set to happen there in the third quarter.
Other key 2019 events for Boston Scientific have included a $180 million settlement in Boston Scientific's favor regarding ongoing TAVR patent disputes with rival Edwards Lifesciences, as well as the launch of updated versions of its deep brain stimulation systems within its neuromodulation business.
Boston Scientific's stock was up slightly in early trading Wednesday.
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