Medtronic to form panel after blood pressure device fails study
Jan 13 (Reuters) - Medtronic Inc on Monday said it will convene an independent panel of experts to make recommendations on the future of its experimental treatment for high blood pressure after the device failed to meet the key goal of a clinical study. The medical device maker announced last week that the treatment, known as renal denervation, did not meet the goal for demonstrating effectiveness in the study, though it did meet its main safety goal. The device is aimed at treating high blood pressure in patients who have not responded well to traditional drug therapies and works by deadening nerves in the kidneys. Medtronic Chief Executive Omar Ishrak, speaking at the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, said the company was likely to take an impairment charge for halting clinical trials of the device in the United States, Japan and India. The setback will have minimal impact on the company's sales projections, which had included a small additional contribution to revenue beginning in 2016, the CEO said. Medtronic will continue to sell the device in Europe, where it has been on the market since April 2010, Ishrak said. St Jude Medical Inc and Covidien also sell devices to treat high blood pressure in Europe. The devices work by creating small scars along nerves in the kidneys. The organs play a key role in regulating blood pressure by sending signals to the brain that can cause blood vessels to constrict.