Medical device companies: These 15 performed the best in 2017

[Image from Unsplash]

Updated Jan. 5, 2018

Among the most successful medical device companies of 2017, there were two themes: innovation and breadth of services.

That was the major takeaway of an MDO analysis of the stock performance of the 100 largest publicly traded medtech companies in the world.

What does innovation mean? Think Align Technologies (Nasdaq:ALGN) and how it brought 3D printing to bear on a dental product screaming for better customization: braces. Or there’s Abiomed (Nasdaq:ABMD) and its tiny Impella heart pump, which is meant to help restore blood flow and allow the heart to rest after a heart attack.

For breadth of services, look no farther than Integer (NYSE: ITGR). Created out of the 2015 merger of Greatbatch and Lake Region Medical, Integer is a giant medical device contract manufacturer that could theoretically do almost anything for an OEM.

Most – about four-fifths – of the world’s 100 largest medical device companies saw their stock price increase this year. But Align, Abiomed, Integer and other top companies enjoyed an especially exceptional performance.

Here are the 15 best-performing medical device stocks of 2017, ranked by their stock growth percentage.


And click here to download a performance spreadsheet of the 100 stocks>>

The post Medical device companies: These 15 performed the best in 2017 appeared first on MassDevice.

Align Technology expands iTero distro, integration deal with Glidewell


Align Technology

Align Technology (NSDQ:ALGN) said today it expanded a distribution deal with Glidewell Dental to distribute Align’s iTero Element intraoral scanning system in North America.

Through the deal, San Jose, Calif.-based Align’s said its iTero Element scanner will feature Glidewell’s software which serves to auto-design restorations for clinician approval and to communicate with a lab’s digital design technicians as needed.

“This is an exciting opportunity to join together to deliver a restorative work flow driven by digital precision and enabling the growth of digital dentistry. This collaboration makes same-day restorations more efficient and accessible for our joint customers, and also introduces the benefits of iTero scanning to the more than 50,000 dentists using Glidewell services,” Align chief marketing officer Raphael Pascaud said in a prepared statement.

Align Technology said it expects the iTero Element with Glidewell’s technology to be available during the 1st quarter of 2018.

“Align has long been at the forefront of digital dental technology. Their pioneering spirit and drive for continued innovation are very much in line with Glidewell Dental’s goal to remove barriers to patient treatment, and I couldn’t be more excited about this dynamic pairing,” Glidewell Dental founder & prez Jim Glidewell said in a press release.

In late October, Align saw shares rise over 15% after the orthodontic device maker beat expectations on Wall Street with its third quarter results.

Align Tech-backed SmileDirectClub levies lawsuits against critical dentists, orthodontists


Smile Direct Club

The Align Technology (NSDQ:ALGN) backed SmileDirectClub is reportedly sending cease-and-desist letters to dentists who criticize its products, according to a BuzzFeed report.

The company sent at least 2 cease-and-desist letters last month, threatening lawsuits if dentists did not remove videos they’d posted criticizing the practice of do-it-yourself clear teeth aligners, according to the report.

The cease-and-desist letters join a lawsuit from late October that the company levied against a group of New York and New Jersey orthodontists who posted a similar video, and a suit against a Michigan affiliate of the American Dental Association over a publication the group published in a monthly journal, BuzzFeed reports.

The claims vary but centrally argue that the dentists are part of a “well-funded lobbying and public relations effort” trying to shut it down, according to the report.

“Several dentists and orthodontists have made publicly false, disparaging and misleading statements on various social media websites regarding SmileDirectClub all in an effort to protect their traditional business model and to limit access of care to keep prices for orthodontic care artificially inflated. SmileDirectClub has pursued legal remedies to prevent these dentists and orthodontists from making false, disparaging and misleading statements regarding SmileDirectClub,” a Smile Direct Club spokesperson said in an emailed statement to BuzzFeed.

According to the report, the dentists claim to be merely expressing their professional opinions on the clear orthodontic devices.

BuzzFeed originally broke the story on the cease-and-desist letters in mid-October, detailing the story of orthodontist Jeffrey Miller. Miller also received a cease-and-desist letter, which he ignored, and was followed by a letter declaring the company’s intent to sue him and his practice for damages of more than $34 million, “plus punitive damages of not less than three times that amount,” according to the report.

The report detailed a number of other groups and private practices that received cease-and-desist letters, as well as organizations which have presented opposition to SmileDirectClub.

Earlier this month, the ADA released its own resolution which “strongly discourages” the practice of do-it-yourself orthodontics, referencing potential harm to patients from delayed and reduced visits to dentists.

In the resolution, the ADA states that it “believes that supervision by a licensed dentist is necessary for all phase of orthodontic treatment including oral examinations, periodontal examinations, radiographic examinations, study models of scans of the mouth, treatment planning and prescriptions, periodic progress assessments and final assessments with stabilizing measures.”

“Patients are being inundated with direct marketing campaigns encouraging them to initiate and manage their own orthodontic treatment. These campaigns are operating in multiple media outlets, including online, billboards and television ads. This year’s ADA House of Delegates recognized the need for the ADA, as America’s leading advocate for oral health, to take steps to educate patients about the potential pitfalls of self-managed orthodontic treatment. This new policy supports the importance of dentists being in charge of diagnosing and treating patients to ensure the safe delivery of appropriate care,” ADA council on dental practice chair Dr. Craig Ratner said in an ADA release.