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Abiomed Expects to Expand Its Presence in This Space

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Protected PCI segment opportunity

Abiomed (ABMD) is primarily focused on the growth opportunity in the protected PCI (percutaneous coronary intervention) area, a procedure that is applicable for patients with coronary artery disease or poor heart ejection fractions.

There are now ~121,000 patients who can be treated with a protected PCI procedure in the US and who can benefit from the use of Impella devices. Around 100,000 patients who have been admitted to hospitals are administered inotropic drugs to ensure hemodynamic stability. However, at escalating dosages, these drugs have demonstrated an increase in patient mortality.

Abiomed plans to position Impella devices as a safer and more cost-effective option to ensure hemodynamic stability, so that physicians can focus on complete revascularization. The penetration of these devices in the target market is now only 7%.

The New Heart Association has projected that by 2035, around 131 million people, or 45% of the US population, will suffer from kind of some heart condition, while 24 million people will likely be affected with coronary artery disease.

Impella devices have helped Abiomed compete effectively with other med-tech players such as Baxter (BAX), Abbot Laboratories (ABT), and Medtronic (MDT).

Notably, the iShares Core S&P Mid-Cap ETF (IJH) has about 0.35% of its total portfolio in Abiomed.

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Growth strategy

The average age of high-risk PCI patients is currently 69 years—12 less than the average age of patients undergoing percutaneous aortic valve replacement procedure. The majority of emergent AMI cardiogenic shock patients are younger than 65 years age. These cardiovascular diseases have been affecting a relatively younger population, and have become the number one factor contributing to death and healthcare costs in the US.

Abiomed expects to create awareness among physicians to identify high-risk PCI-appropriate patients as well as those very high-risk patients who are denied treatment or who are not eligible for open heart surgery. The company is working with other companies to create awareness about CHIP (complex higher-risk indicated patients) and is expanding the target market for the Impella family of devices.

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