Medtronic Delivers Positive Results For Chronic Back Pain Trial

Medtronic plc (MDT) has announced statistically significant 12-month results from a large, multicenter trial (RCT) that it says further proves the superiority of DTM Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) in back pain relief, vs conventional SCS therapy, using the Medtronic Intellis platform.

At 12 months, 84% of patients with chronic back pain treated with DTM SCS reported at least 50% pain relief, compared to 51% of patients treated with conventional SCS.

There was also a difference in the proportion of patients who reported profound back pain relief favoring DTM SCS (69%) compared with conventional SCS (35.1%). 

The study met its primary endpoint at three months, and in pre-specified secondary analysis showed the superiority of DTM SCS compared to conventional SCS and has sustained these results at 12 months.

Pain relief was measured by the Visual Analog Scale (VAS), a widely used measure for pain intensity that records pain levels on a scale of 0-10. Fifty-percent pain relief is a recognized industry standard to define therapy success. The majority of DTM SCS patients in this study exceeded this threshold, with seven out of ten experiencing profound back pain relief at 12 months.

Patients treated with DTM SCS also reported an average VAS score reduction of 75% in back pain, compared with 50% treated with conventional SCS. Average VAS scores for patients treated with DTM SCS at 12 months were 1.74 for back pain and 1.45 for leg pain.

“More than two-thirds of the patients in this RCT achieved profound pain relief of at least 80% with DTM SCS therapy,” said Michael Fishman of the Center for Interventional Pain & Spine. ” These outcomes demonstrate that DTM SCS can provide more patients profound pain relief compared with conventional SCS at 12 months, which physicians should consider when selecting a neuromodulation therapy for their patients.”

Shares in MDT are down 4% year-to-date, but the stock scores a bullish Strong Buy consensus from the Street. That’s with a $120 average analyst price target indicating 10% upside potential lies ahead.

“Between delays in the development of its robotic system or the stumbles in Diabetes, MDT will still need to prove that it can be a consistent 5% grower, but with MDT’s markets growing at 5% roughly, M&A should provide a cushion to the top-line” comments BTIG analyst Ryan Zimmerman.

He reiterated his buy rating on MDT with a $119 price target arguing that: “Investors should not expect incrementally more return to the bottom line as the focus will be top-line growth reinvestment, but in a market where top-line growth is highly rewarded, we think this strategy makes sense.” (See MDT stock analysis on TipRanks).

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Harriet Lefton
Harriet Lefton, originally from the UK, began her career as a journalist specialising in the niche world of metal markets. She graduated from the University of Cambridge before becoming a qualified UK lawyer. Now she has turned her attention to the world of financial blogging, covering US stocks, analysts and all manner of things finance-related.

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