Edwards heart valve beats Medtronic device in study

Edwards Lifesciences' (EW) Sapien XT heart valve, which can be inserted without open-heart surgery, outperformed a rival device from Medtronic (MDT) in a head-to-head comparison of 241 patients.

Sapien XT led to improved symptoms in patients, less leakage, was easier to insert and had a similar death rate to Medtronic's CoreValve, which, in a separate study, was shown to have better mortality figures than open-heart procedures.

While a previous version of the Sapien has generated disappointing sales, analysts believe that the market for the devices could eventually be worth $3B a year.

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