Nevro scores a victory in spinal cord stimulation patent battle with Boston Scientific

Senza spinal cord stimulation system--Courtesy of Nevro

Nevro ($NVRO) scored a victory in its patent battle against Boston Scientific ($BSX) over high-frequency spinal cord modulation technology, as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office threw out Boston Scientific's challenges to Nevro's patents.

Back in May, Boston Scientific asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to review Nevro's patent for high frequency spinal cord modulation technology, claiming in two petitions that the company's patent was invalid. The office mulled that request and decided, along with the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB), that it would not conduct an inter partes review of Nevro's patent.

Boston Scientific failed to show through either of its claims that Nevro's patent was invalid, so the PTAB denied both of the company's petitions. The decision "reaffirms the validity of our IP position and our ability to protect innovations in the neuromodulation field," Nevro CEO Michael DeMane said in a statement.

The PTAB's decision is also an "outright victory" for Nevro that "will likely make it increasingly difficult" for Boston Scientific to market its own high frequency device, Leerink analyst Danielle Antalffy said in a note to investors. Analysts--and even Nevro itself--thought that at least one of Boston Scientific's claims would go through, Antalffy said, and the victory can only help Nevro as it taps into a $1.2 billion U.S. spinal cord stimulation market.

Earlier this year, the Menlo Park, CA-based company won FDA approval for its spinal cord stimulation system, Senza. The device treats chronic pain in the back and legs with high frequency stimulation at low amplitudes, all without causing a tingling sensation known as paresthesia that is common to other spinal cord stimulation implants.

Nevro has not wasted any time since winning FDA approval for its system, holding a $240 million stock sale in June to support its Senza launch. The 2012 Fierce 15 company also reeled in $126 million in a follow-on sale, adding more funds to its pot as it prepares to expand the international reach for its product.

Antalffy sees big potential in Nevro and its technology, forecasting almost $200 million in Senza sales by 2017. And "estimates are likely to continue moving higher with potential for even faster market growth" as Nevro drives adoption for the device to 22% in the U.S. by 2019, she said.

- read the statement

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