With Abbott out of the game, Covidien targets pump market

Covidien is ramping up production on its Kangaroo ePump and Kangaroo Joey (pictured).--Courtesy of Covidien

Now that Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) is getting out of the enteral tube feeding business in the U.S., Covidien ($COV) sees a blaring opportunity to cash in, and the company has ramped up production of its Kangaroo pumps and sets.

Covidien didn't mention Abbott by name, noting only that its Kangaroo scale-up "comes in the wake of a recent announcement of a competitor's exit from the enteral feeding pump market in the United States." Otherwise, though, the company was unequivocal, saying that its clinical and home-use devices are proven safe and, thanks to accelerated production, available in spades.

"With this investment, we are confident that we can provide ample supply to meet market needs today and in the future," Covidien marketing director Gabriel McHugh said in a statement.

The company is touting its Kangaroo ePump, designed for institutional use, and Kangaroo Joey, calibrated for the home.

Abbott announced its exit from selling pumps in the U.S. earlier this year, saying getting out of the market "allows us to focus even more on bringing innovation to our oral and enteral nutrition portfolio of products." The phased process will keep Abbott's products on shelves and in hospitals through the new year, but the company will completely discontinue its line by April, and customers will have to find new distributors.

In the meantime, Covidien has its work cut out for it.

- read Covidien's announcement
- here's Abbott's announcement (pdf)