St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) announced Tuesday that its renal denervation technology was effective in lowering blood pressure of patients whose hypertension remained stubbornly high despite being on many medications.
The EnligHTN technology was effective in that, on average, patients saw their systolic blood pressure lowered28 mmHg points after 30 days of treatment. The effect was sustained such that even after three months there was a reduction of 27 mmHg points. The 46 patients that enrolled in the EnligHTN I multicenter trial had an average baseline blood pressure of 176/96 mmHg and were on at least blood-pressure lowering medication including a diuretic.
“The risk of cardiovascular death is cut in half with every 20 mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure, so it is a tremendous benefit to patients that the EnligHTN renal denervation technology is able to reduce blood pressure very rapidly at one month and sustain that reduction,” said the trial’s primary investigator, Dr. Costas Tsioufis, professor of cardiology at University of Athens Hippocration Hospital and professor of medicine at Georgetown University, in the news release. “The fact that this rapid and sustained reduction was further confirmed with rigorous ambulatory blood pressure measurements gives me confidence to say that the EnligHTN system delivers a promising therapy for the treatment of resistant hypertension.”
St. Jude Medical declared the results demonstrate thatits technology is superior to competing technologies. And there are indeed many chasing the market, including Medtronic.
“The total 28 mmHg-point reduction of systolic blood pressure after 30 days is double the reduction than that of competitive technology in the same time frame,” the company said in a press release.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any renal denervation products.Medtronic is ahead of its competition in the U.S. in trying to commercialize its Ardian technology that it acquired in 2010. But an Australian doctor said in May that St. Jude’s technology is better than that of Medtronic.
Some believe that Medtronic’s lead in terms of commercialization may not be enough once next-generation technologies are introduced by other players.
Renal denervation is a method of ablating the renal artery to reduce resistant hypertension and is widely considered to be an exciting technology with a huge market potential to the tune of billions of dollars.