With the first quarter of the year over, here the Investing News Network profiles the five top NASDAQ medical device stocks year-to-date.
It has been an interesting start to the year for the medical device industry, as the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said it will evaluate the device approval process more closely.
In its statement regarding its new approach to the approval process, the FDA said it will ask for input from patients, device manufacturers and doctors in order to figure out how it should proceed.
“Any new initiatives we implement must be rooted in putting patient safety first and based on sound science,” the agency said.
Because of a potential medical device shortage, which is the result of two device sterilization facilities being shut down in Illinois and Michigan, the agency will be taking steps to prevent device shortages. These efforts include a new website that details why certain products are used to sterilize devices.
While some of the agency’s news may be discouraging to investors, the overall outlook for the medical device industry is still promising. A research report compiled by Technavio estimates the global medical device market will expand by an impressive US$120 billion over the next three years, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 5 percent during the forecast period.
According to the report, cardiology, neurology, orthopedics, oncology and medical imaging are expected to contribute the most to that growth.
On that note, with the first quarter officially over, the Investing News Network is taking a look back at the top performing NASDAQ medical device stocks year-to-date. All data was compiled with TradingView’s Stock Screener. The companies listed below have market caps of between US$50 million and US$500 million with numbers and figures current as of April 8.
1. Conformis (NASDAQ:CFMS)
Market cap: US$154.85 million; current share price: US$2.23; year-to-date gain: 557.82 percent
Conformis develops knee replacements based off of an individual patient’s CT scan by using 3D imaging technology. This technique helps Conformis manufacture replacements based on each person’s unique shape and size.
In mid-March, the company revealed its 3D hip system at the 2019 American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons annual conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. Conformis explained that the system works by having a patient’s CT scan transformed into a 3D model, which allows the company to determine specific measurements in order to design a custom system.
2. Ekso Bionics Holdings (NASDAQ:EKSO)
Market cap: US$160.64 million; current share price: US$2.50; year-to-date gain: 100.81 percent
Ekso Bionics Holdings is an exoskeleton company that has developed an exoskeleton bionic suit to help people walk again. One of its products, the EksoGT, is the first exoskeleton device cleared by the FDA to help people recover from strokes and spinal cord injuries.
At the end of January, the company announced a joint venture worth US$100 million with Youchuang Venture Capital to build exoskeletons in China and other regions, like Singapore and Malaysia.
3. RTI Surgical Holdings (NASDAQ:RTIX)
Market cap: US$398.75 million; current share price: US$5.42; year-to-date gain: 47.57 percent
RTI Surgical Holdings develops products used in spine treatment, sports medicine, orthopedic care and dental work. RTI Surgical Holdings provides surgeons with biologic, metal and synthetic implants.
The company announced in March that it had acquired Paradigm Spine, which developed the coflex Interlaminar Stabilization device. Coflex is an FDA pre-market approval device that helps treat moderate to severe lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS). LSS is when the spine canal in the lower back has been narrowed, and it generally occurs when bone or tissue grows in spinal bones’ openings.
4. Soleno Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SLNO)
Market cap: US$70.18 million; current share price: US$2.21; year-to-date gain: 26.9 percent
Soleno Therapeutics is focused on unmet medical needs with a variety of diagnostics, devices and therapeutics available in its pipeline. While the company’s lead product is the DCCR, which is an oral tablet to treat prader-willi syndrome — a genetic disorder resulting in the loss of specific genes — it has also dipped into the medical device sector. Thanks to its subsidiary, Capina, Soleno is marketing Capina’s CoSense End-Tidal Carbon Monoxide monitor.
5. Pro-Dex (NASDAQ:PDEX)
Market cap: US$62.35 million; current share price: US$15.05; year-to-date gain: 24.59 percent
Pro-Dex’s main medical device is the Pro-Dex Surgical Driver, which is used in small bones and the spine.
In February, the company announced its fiscal 2019 and Q2 results, highlighting that sales increased 15 percent during the quarter from US$5.8 million to US$6.4 million. This increase came thanks to a drive in sales from the largest customer for Pro-Dex’s medical devices.
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Securities Disclosure: I Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.