LOS ANGELES, October 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
USA News Group - In spite of lawmakers' inability to determine direction for healthcare, medical device companies continue to be some of the strongest performers this year. Companies being rewarded for their consistency outside the fray include Baxter International, Inc. (NYSE: BAX), Becton, Dickinson and Co. (NYSE: BDX), Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE: BSX), and Imagin Medical Inc. (CSE: IME) (OTC: IMEXF).
During a period when the big tech companies appear to rule the day, several medical device and technology companies have been quietly making fortunes.
Some of the best stocks in this space have been up all year, with the leaders reflecting their strong fundamentals' performance and providing investors with great returns.
There seems to be a consensus among market gurus that there is no reason for this to end at the moment and these still have room to run.
This is very evident in some top drawer companies; three that you know well and one you will not likely have heard about, but that could really shake up the medical imaging space.
The small player in the group is gaining interest for its new, patented technology for use in medical imaging targeting bladder cancer. Imagin Medical Inc., (CSE: IME) (OTC: IMEXF) is heading into human testing with its i/Blue™ cancer imaging technology and offers major promise for that dread disease.
The three others who have been delivering on fundamentals have been deemed the "Killer B's" for their momentum despite a US healthcare market in flux. They are Baxter International, Inc. (NYSE: BAX), which makes medical equipment like dialysis machines and infusion systems, along with Becton, Dickinson and Co. (NYSE: BDX) that makes supplies like needles, syringes and catheters, and Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE: BSX), which makes pacemakers and defibrillators, among other cardiovascular and endoscopic devices.
Each of these three has rallied into the double-digits in 2017.
Medical Device Market Cruising
At a time when nearly all market sectors are feeling the impact of global turmoil, the medical device market seems to keep cruising. It's a great place to be right now.
Spending on medical devices is expected to reach $176 billion this year in the Americas and nearly $360 billion worldwide. The US is estimated to spend about $4.5 billion per year on medical and diagnostic imaging alone.
The diagnostic imaging segment has seen continual growth based on the increasing number of patients, as well as an increasing demand for minimally invasive surgery, which requires precise imaging.
The overall U.S. healthcare market grows at a regular rate of about 5.6 percent annually and is expected to reach nearly 20% of the U.S. GDP by 2015 or total spending of $3.4 trillion in 2016.
According to the Advisory Board 2017 report, the increases are brought about by changes in economic growth and population aging and not as much by changes in insurance coverage.
Based on the size and scale of this market, it's easy to see why there continues to be significant opportunities in the medical device space.
Imagin Medical Targets the Most Expensive Form of Cancer
An emerging innovator in this group is looking to emulate the success of the major providers by targeting a very large market: bladder cancer.
Imagin Medical is the developer of the i/Blue™ Imaging System to help detect bladder cancer and reduce its recurrence by dramatically improving the urologist's ability to visualize, identify and then remove cancerous cells.
Bladder cancer is the most expensive form of cancer to treat, accounting for cumulative costs of $4 billion or about 3.2% of all cancer care each year. It is the sixth largest market for cancer treatment and yet treatment approaches have not really changed over the past 25 years.
Imagin's system uses endoscopic technology combined with white light and video imaging to visualize the human bladder in order to detect cancer. This is combined with fluorescing drugs and specialized blue light imaging to improve the visualization of tumors many times over.
The results are dramatic.
According to the company, Imagin's i/Blue™ system increases sensitivity for detecting the cancer specific contrast agent by 5 orders of magnitude or 100,000X.
Cheaper, Faster, Better
A new technology that radically transforms the way things are done in medical imaging and diagnostics, Imagin's i/Blue™ system could well be classified as disruptive. There are several aspects that set it apart from anything available today.
First, Imagin's approach allows the system to accurately image in less than 15 minutes vs. the one-hour period required to metabolize drugs using conventional fluorescing system.
Second, its computer application cleans, reprocesses, blends and displays the image of the bladder and cancer onto a single monitor at the same time. This allows for multiple perspectives of the bladder on a single system, as opposed to switching between white to blue light systems.
Last, the i/Blue™ system's advancement in sensitivity improves surgeons' ability to detect even flat cancers and to visualize their margins for more complete removal. This can dramatically reduce the risk of recurrence, slowing the progression of the disease
What's really exciting about the i/Blue™ System is its ability to improve results, simplify procedures, save time and money.
Not Holding Back
There is still plenty of room for innovation in the medical device market. There also appears plenty of room for solid companies to profit richly in this space.
The leaders in the group continue to flourish, and regardless of failed promises of Washington to deliver tax breaks that would help the industry, stay profitable.
Some of these stocks might look relatively expensive now, but there's a good chance investors will look back at these prices similar to the way tech sector stocks that are going off the charts are viewed now.
If Baxter, B&D and Boston Scientific look expensive, consider Imagin Medicals unique position: despite all its early advances, the company appears undervalued at a meager $5 million market cap.
Although it is an emerging medical company, IME has already made great progress. Launched in 2016, it has finished its prototype and moved into human testing to be carried out at University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE). This could result in the next major step and heading into commercialization.
Be on the lookout for IME join the list of the elite innovators adding disruptive technology to the medical imaging and diagnostic space.
Baxter International, Inc. (NYSE: BAX)
Baxter International Inc. provides a portfolio of renal and hospital products. The company operates through two segments, Hospital Products and Renal. The Hospital Products segment manufactures intravenous (IV) solutions and administration sets, premixed drugs and drug-reconstitution systems, pre-filled vials and syringes for injectable drugs, IV nutrition products, parenteral nutrition therapies, infusion pumps, inhalation anesthetics, and biosurgery products. This segment also provides products and services related to pharmacy compounding, drug formulation, and packaging technologies. The Renal segment provides products to treat end-stage renal disease, irreversible kidney failure, and acute kidney therapies. The company sells its products for use in hospitals, kidney dialysis centers, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, doctors' offices, and by patients at home under physician supervision.
Becton, Dickinson and Co. (NYSE: BDX)
Becton, Dickinson and Company develops, manufactures, and sells medical supplies, devices, laboratory equipment, and diagnostic products worldwide. It operates in two segments, BD Medical and BD Life Sciences. The company markets its products through independent distribution channels and sales representatives to healthcare institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, pharmaceutical industry, and general public. It has a strategic collaboration with FlowJo, LLC. Becton, Dickinson and Company was founded in 1897 and is headquartered in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey.
Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE: BSX)
Boston Scientific Corporation develops, manufactures, and markets medical devices for use in various interventional medical specialties worldwide. It operates through three segments: Cardiovascular, Rhythm Management, and MedSurg. The company offers interventional cardiology products, including drug-eluting coronary stent systems used in the treatment of coronary artery disease; other coronary therapy products to treat atherosclerosis; intravascular catheter-directed ultrasound imaging catheters, fractional flow reserve devices, and systems for use in coronary arteries and heart chambers, as well as certain peripheral vessels; and structural heart therapy systems and products to diagnose and treat diseases of the pulmonary and gastrointestinal conditions; devices to diagnose, treat, and ease pulmonary disease systems within the airway and lungs; and spinal cord stimulator systems for the management of chronic pain. The company was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Marlborough, Massachusetts.
For a more in-depth look into IME you can view the in-depth report at USA News Group: http://usanewsgroup.com/2017/10/22/checkpoint-inhibitors-show-promise-in-bladder-cancer-2-2/.
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