Medical device company Inspire MD (NSPR), best known for developing innovative MicroNet technology for vascular procedures, has attracted investor attention today following its release of updated registry data at the 2019 VEITH Symposium. As of this writing, Inspire MD shares are soaring nearly 15%.
According to the findings, NSPR’s CGuard Embolic Prevention System (EPS) for the prevention of strokes caused by carotid artery disease saw procedural success in 100% of patients in the IRONGUARD 2 study. Not to mention the system isn’t associated with any major periprocedural, 30-day or one-year neurological complications.
“The data from long term investigator-initiated multi-center studies presented at VEITH continue to suggest that treatment of carotid artery stenosis with CGuard™ EPS results in lower rates of stroke and restenosis than other treatments presented, including first generation carotid stents, novel double carotid layer stents, and surgical or hybrid techniques,” CEO James Barry, Ph.D. stated.
To this end, investors have been left wondering if this positive development represents a turning point for NSPR, which has seen shares crash 90% year-to-date.
H.C. Wainwright analyst Vernon Bernardino believes that this is in fact the case, arguing that the company has already taken several steps in the right direction. The analyst has recently reiterated a Buy rating on NSPR stock along with a $5 price target, as he believes shares could skyrocket 372% over the next twelve months. (To watch Bernardino’s track record, click here)
Solid Quarterly Performance
In its third quarter, NSPR reported that revenue had increased 22% year-over-year to reach $939,000. That was just to kick things off. CGuard EPS saw a record number of orders during the quarter, resulting in sales growth of 41% year-over-year.
Bernardino points out that this result was noteworthy as it occurred during a “seasonally soft quarter”, suggesting that awareness of the clinical advantages of CGuard in terms of both conventional carotid stent implantation and carotid endarterectomy (CAE) is increasing. “We believe InspireMD’s strong CGuard sales growth is under-appreciated…InspireMD shares are an attractive value proposition ahead of our projection for continued CGuard sales growth,” he explained.
Strong Traction in Education and Outreach Programs
The analyst highlights NSPR’s commercial activities like its Centers of Excellence training program as having a positive impact on the awareness of CGuard EPS’s strong clinical data and safety among physicians. Back in 2018, the program was created to train interventional cardiologists using hands-on live patient cases. This program as well as others have contributed to the product’s international expansion.
“We believe target introductions in key territories, namely Brazil, which is the fifth-largest market in the world for interventional cardiology procedures, as well as South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and China, which all have attractive pricing for carotid devices, coupled with maturity in the company’s distribution network, represent opportunities for future strong CGuard sales growth,” Bernardino commented.
Increased Awareness Through Presentations and Publications
Recent presentations and publications have also gone a long way in terms of raising awareness. At the joint Congress of the World Heart Federation and the European Society of Cardiology, the company presented data on a patient level mesh stent meta-analysis from four trials for the first time. The H.C. Wainwright analyst notes that in just one session, NSPR was able to demonstrate the superiority of CGuard EPS versus both first-generation carotid stents and second-generation double layer or mesh-covered carotid devices.
The Bottom Line
As Bernardino is the only analyst that has rated the stock in the last three months, NSPR is difficult to gauge. With 1 Buy compared to no Holds or Sells, the consensus is a ‘Moderate Buy’.
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