Scurrilous Scaremongering Or Well Founded? St.Jude’s Durata Still Suffers Doubters

St.Jude Medical executives must pull their hair out when they see reports from analysts expressing doubts about the clinical performance of Durata. This one, posted on bloomberg’s business week on Tuesday quotes analyst Ray Denhoy saying that a study published in the journal Macromolecules “suggests that the company’s Optim insulation could erode more quickly than physicians expect.”

We haven’t read the Macromolecules piece yet, but we will if we can ever find it. In the meantime Mr Denhoy says he still believes physicians will begin using other companies’ products because of increasing concerns about the design and performance of St. Jude’s leads, including its Durata wires, which are coated with the Optim material. If that’s not the sort of language to promote a “no smoke without fire” message I don’t know what is. And indeed, so it seems is the case as ST.Jude’s share price took a consequential knock.

This all despite the fact that no single case of erosion has yet been formally attributed to Optim coating despite the forensic surveillance of data being undertaken.  All-cause failure of Durata leads, which will include insulation abrasion, conductor fracture, failure of a crimp, weld, or bond, or other mechanical failure, comes to less than 0.4% of leads implanted.

So back to the journal in question, we’ve had a squizz at the contents of the edition published this week and can’t even see the item in question, unless we’re being stupid. Either way, it might be nice if just one of the articles jumping on Mr Denhoy’s commentary, gave us a formal reference or indeed gave the impression that they too had read it and come to the same conclusion. Suddenly analysts are scientific deities who’s word is to be simply taken at face value.

Like I say, in St.Jude’s shoes I’d be pulling my hair out too.

Source: None, because apparently none are really needed