Edwards Lifesciences | Reducing Deaths, Strokes and Rehospitalisation Rates | WELL
Representing the key sub-theme of Biological Engineering in our HAN-GINS Indxx Healthcare Innovation UCITS ETF, Edwards Lifesciences is
an American medical equipment company specialising in artificial heart valves and hemodynamic monitoring. It is mostly known for a transcatheter aortic
heart valve made of bovine tissue within a collapsible stainless-steel stent,
deployed via catheter .
The focus of the business is on these 3 areas:
- Critical care technologies
- Surgical valve technologies
- Transcatheter heart valves
The Irvine, California based company is a leading manufacturer
of heart valve systems and repair products used to replace or repair a
patient's diseased or defective heart valve.
It also develops hemodynamic monitoring systems that
are used to measure a patient's cardiovascular function in the hospital
The Edwards SAPIEN 3 Transcatheter Heart Valve
(often referred to as SAPIEN 3 THV) consists of a catheter-based artificial
heart valve and accessories used to implant the valve without open-heart
surgery. The valve is made of cow tissue attached to a balloon-expandable, cobalt-chromium frame for
In March 2019, Edwards Lifesciences Corp. shares soared
the most in two years after studies showed that patients with damaged aortic
valves fared better if they were treated with the company’s easier-to-implant
replacement device rather than the gold-standard surgery that involves cracking
open the chest. Its Sapien 3 valve cut
death, stroke and hospitalisation rates dramatically. These results will most likely lead to
expanded use of the devices globally .
For many decades, surgeons have repaired leaky aortic valves
with one of medicine’s most dramatic procedures, splitting the sternum and
stopping the heart to sew a new valve in place while the patient is kept alive
by machines. The new valves are inserted through an incision in the leg,
threaded up to the heart, and then fixed in place far less invasively.
The new valves are already approved for use in about
20% of patients who are too sick to withstand open-heart surgery or may have
complications from the operation. The latest company-sponsored findings, suggest
they should be used in almost all patients .
The heart procedures make up 61% of Edwards’s
revenues, and expanding use of the devices is a key part of Wall Street’s
optimistic view about the company. In the U.S., there are about 90,000
diagnosed, low-risk patients, according to Jason McGorman, an analyst with Bloomberg
Intelligence. He stated this expanded
use amounted to a $2.5 billion opportunity .
Patients given Edwards’s Sapien 3 valve were almost
half as likely to die, suffer a stroke or need to be hospitalised again within
the first year of treatment as those who underwent a traditional operation .
The default until now has been surgical valves, unless
you are in a very high-risk group. Going
forward surgery will be only for cases where TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve
replacement) won’t work. This is a true game-changer.
As the valves are used in younger and healthier
patients, it’s not clear how they’ll hold up over the long term compared with
surgically implanted valves that have a much longer track record.
This TAVR procedure enables the placement of a collapsible heart
valve into the body via a tube-based delivery system (catheter) that can be
inserted through multiple access routes, including either an incision in the
leg (transfemoral), or in between the ribs and to be threaded up to the heart
(transapical), or through the front of the chest and then through a small hole
in the aorta (transaortic). The valve is designed to replace a patient’s diseased
native aortic valve without traditional open-heart surgery and while the heart
continues to beat – avoiding the need to stop the patient’s heart and connect
them to a heart-lung
temporarily takes over the function of the heart and the patient’s breathing
during surgery (cardiopulmonary bypass).
Edwards continues as a leader in the field of tissue replacement
heart valves and repair products and advanced hemodynamic monitoring, which have helped treat and manage more than 2
million patients worldwide. Annually,
more than 300,000 valve replacements are performed worldwide through open-heart
surgery, utilising either bioprosthetic tissue valves or mechanical valves .
Find out more about the HAN-GINS Indxx Healthcare Innovation UCITS ETF (WELL).
As of 12th June 2019 , the HAN-GINS Indxx Healthcare Innovation UCITS ETF (WELL) held 5.61% in Edwards Lifesciences Corp.