On an earnings call with analysts this week, Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) CEO Mike Mahoney touted the momentum of his company’s drug-eluting stent portfolio but noted that the technologies continue to face headwinds in the U.S. thanks to pricing pressure.
The Mass.-based company reported third-quarter profits of $432 million, or 31¢ per share, on sales of $2.39 billion for the three months ended Sept. 30, for a bottom-line gain of 52.7% on sales growth of 7.7% compared with Q3 2017.
Adjusted to exclude one-time items, earnings per share were 35¢, a penny ahead of Wall Street, where analysts were looking for sales of $2.40 billion.
On the call, Mahoney noted that the company launched its Eluvia drug-eluting stent in the U.S. during the third quarter, following positive data from the first head-to-head trial of its kind and an early FDA approval.
“We believe Eluvia has significant market opportunity given the large addressable patient population, its differentiated, sustained-release technology, and its demonstrated superior clinical outcomes with reduced need for reintervention. This launch is in the very early stages, but our sales team is fully trained. We’ve already received significant interest from physicians and healthcare systems around the country,” Mahoney said.
Boston Scientific also enrolled the first patient in a trial assessing a drug-eluting stent for below-the-knee lesions and completed enrollment in a trial evaluating its Ranger drug-coated balloon. The company is hoping to launch its Ranger device in the U.S. in 2020.
In coronary drug-eluting stents, “we continue to work through competitive pricing headwinds, particularly in the U.S.,” Mahoney said.
The chief executive touted the recent FDA approval of Boston Scientific’s new drug-eluting stent, Promus Elite, and explained that he hoped the device would provide “important support to our global tier DES segmentation strategy.”
Mahoney described drug-eluting stents as the company’s “toughest segment,” thanks to pricing pressure.
“But this Elite solution will be a nice segmented offering because what it will enable us to do is offer customers who want better economics, a permanent polymer stent to match our two biggest competitors, global competitors, and then to further differentiate our Synergy bioresorbable polymer at more of a premium. So, it’s a nice way for us to position best in class delivery system with Synergy with a durable polymer to match some of the competitive headwinds that we see in price. And then use that to then further differentiate Synergy a bit more. So, I think it’s a nice strategy, and hopefully we’ll see some improvement next year in DES,” he added.