Study results rekindle feud between St. Jude and Medtronic

The old rivalry between St. Jude Medical ($STJ) and Medtronic ($MDT) has moved to the renal denervation field, as the latter dismissed claims that St. Jude's EnligHTN is more effective than its competing product, Symplicity.

As MassDevice reports, St. Jude released the results of two trials, showing that EnligHTN reduced blood pressure twice as much as Symplicity in the same time frame, but Medtronic was more than a bit dismissive in its response. "While interesting, short-term data in a limited number of patients is typically considered hypothesis-generating," a Metronic spokeswoman told MassDevice. She added that until St. Jude completes further studies, it would be inaccurate to put EnligHTN over Symplicty.

The companies' devices--implantable catheters that use radiofrequencies to ablate arteries--are set for a head-to-head bout as they get approved around the world, and Medtronic is a bit further along in that process. Symplicity is currently on the market in Europe, Asia, Africa and parts of the Americas, but EnligHTN snagged CE mark approval in Europe this week. Both companies plan to pursue FDA approval this year, and the competition is only likely to heat up if they're successful.

This isn't the first time the two device giants have butted heads. Earlier this year, after recalling faulty Riata leads, St. Jude demanded a retraction from a researcher who wrote that the company's device led to more deaths than Medtronic's Quattro Secure. Medtronic, of course, supported the researcher's findings, and St. Jude has accused the company of perpetuating a whisper campaign against Riata's replacement, Durata.

- read the MassDevice story