St. Jude takes to India with first-to-market pacer

St. Jude has launched its Allure Quadra CRT in India.--Courtesy of St. Jude

St. Jude Medical ($STJ) is the first to bring a quadripolar pacemaker to India, launching its CE marked Allure Quadra CRT and looking to pad flagging cardiac sales with a new entry in the country's growing market.

As India's PharmaBiz reports, St. Jude has notched its first local implant of the device, touting the technology as allowing for more pacing configurations and placement flexibility, helping treat complicated anatomies and nuanced arrhythmias. Allure features twice as many electrodes as other devices on the Indian market, and St. Jude claims its implant can better react to cardiac events, cutting rates of repeat hospitalization.

Perhaps more important is the opportunity Allure's Indian landfall creates for St. Jude's cardiac rhythm management business. Last quarter, the unit slipped another 4% to $718 million, with pacemaker sales tanking 8% to $264 million.

The company isn't counting on a major turnaround in CRM sales, but CEO Daniel Starks sees a way forward through expanding its geographic footprint and investing in technologies that promise to save money for healthcare systems.

St. Jude is still counting on double-digit earnings growth for 2013, Starks has said, and the company is slashing costs and diving into M&A to make that projection come true. St. Jude has cut thousands of jobs over the last 12 months in an effort to get its balance sheet in line, all the while spending millions to advance its position in high-growth spaces like electrophysiology and neuromodulation.

St. Jude launched Allure in Europe in April, and the device is yet to win FDA approval.

- read the PharmaBiz story