Study: Boston Scientific's S-ICD safer than standard implants

Boston Scientific's S-ICD posted fewer lead complications than traditional implants in a new study.--Courtesy of Boston Scientific

Boston Scientific's ($BSX) S-ICD posted lower rates of lead problems than traditional implanted defibrillators in a new study, data that could bolster the company's market share for its subcutaneous heart aid.

In an analysis of more than 1,000 Danish patients, S-ICD users posted a 1.4% rate of major lead complications, compared to 4.3% with single-chamber ICDs and 5.4% in dual-chamber devices. In addition, S-ICD charted a surgical complication rate of 7.9%, below the traditional ICDs' 11.5%.

The results, presented at the annual meeting of the European Heart Rhythm Association in Athens, should help increase the market penetration for Boston Scientific's under-the-skin defibrillator, investigator Jens Brock Johansen said.

"These are very exciting outcomes, since implanting an S-ICD system is relatively new compared with implanting transvenous ICDs," Johansen said in a statement. "Having supportive outcomes in the acute phase is incredibly important, and I am optimistic about the potential benefits the S-ICD system may have in the long term."

Boston Scientific acquired the S-ICD in its $150 million buyout of Cameron Health last year, and the device has been on the market in Europe since 2009. In September, the device won FDA approval, triggering another $150 million payout to Cameron and giving Boston Scientific a first-of-its-kind implant on the U.S. market.

For now, the S-ICD is indicated solely for high-risk patients who can't endure traditional ICD implantations, but, with more and more data demonstrating the device as safer for heart-failure sufferers of all types, Boston Scientific is working to get the device exposed to a larger patient pool.

- read the results

Special Report: Top 10 device and diagnostic FDA approvals of 2012 - Boston Scientific's S-ICD

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misstated how many patients were included in the study. We regret the error.