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COVID-19 Continues To Drive Demand For Baxter’s Acute Therapies Portfolio

COVID-19 Continues To Drive Demand For Baxter’s Acute Therapies Portfolio

Source : Medtech Insight

Growth in Baxter International Inc. acute therapies business continued in the second quarter of 2020, with the company reporting sales of $186m, a 40% increase, largely due to demand for renal replacement therapy as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

This compared with a 23% increase in the first quarter of 2020. ("Baxter Reports $45M Boost From COVID19 Demand In Q1" "Medtech Insight" )

Baxter said demand for acute therapy products during the second quarter helped balance declines across its medication delivery, pharmaceuticals and advanced surgery businesses. The company reported a total of $2.7bn in sales during the quarter, a year-on-year decrease of 4%.  US sales decreased by 6% to $1.1bn and international sales of $1.6bn decreased by 3%.  Across geographical regions, sales in the Americas declined 7% on a reported basis, by 1% in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, and increased by 1% in the Asia Pacific region.

The advanced surgery businesses again received the biggest negative impact from COVID-19, with Baxter reporting sales of $168m, a 27% year-on-year decline due to declines in surgical procedure volumes.

“According to a number of third-party sources, 20% to 30% of COVID-19 ICU patients will develop acute kidney injuries requiring treatment with a renal replacement therapy, of which continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) is the preferred option,” Baxter CEO Jose Almeida said in a 30 July earnings call.

Baxter’s chronic renal care business also increased by 1% to $919m due to sales of peritoneal dialysis products. “We continue to highlight the advantages of peritoneal dialysis therapies, plus our Sharesource telehealth technology, as clinicians and patients look to home-based treatment to limit the risks of potential pandemic exposure,” said Almeida.

“We estimate Baxter’s US peritoneal dialysis business will have sales of about $655m in 2020 and will grow 12% year-over-year,” Well Fargo analyst Larry Biegelsen wrote in a 26 July analyst note. “While COVID-19 may negatively impact new patient starts on peritoneal dialysis in Q2, we think the pandemic could ultimately accelerate the move to dialysis in the home because home dialysis patients may be better able to adhere to social distancing measures.”

Biegelsen said he expected Baxter to weather the COVID-19 pandemic better than its peers. “We see potential for sales growth acceleration and margin expansion to continue in 2021.”

This month Baxter announced a partnership with Boortmeerbeek, Belgium-based VIPUN Medical to commercialize its VIPUN gastric monitoring system. The device features a "smart" enteral feeding tube that measures stomach motility and enables clinicians to identify intolerance to enteral feeding in ICU and other settings.

Under the terms of the partnership, Baxter will support clinical studies needed for regulatory approval in key global markets and maintain the worldwide distribution rights. Financial terms were not disclosed.

During the second quarter, Baxter also announced CE marking in Europe and approval from Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for the Evo IQ syringe infusion system, which can be used to deliver small volumes of medications and fluids to patients. The device is part of the broader Evo IQ Infusion Platform supported by Baxter’s web-based Dose IQ safety software and wireless IQ enterprise connectivity suite.

The company also received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration for its Altapore Shape bone graft substitute. The product is designed to enhance bone growth and help achieve fusion in the extremities, posterolateral spine and pelvis, which can lead to reduced pain. A 2019 prospective, open-label, non-randomized clinical study evaluated 102 patients with degenerative disc disease, spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis undergoing instrumented posterolateral fusion procedures using Altapore. Successful fusion was achieved in 86.3% of patients at 12 months. Patients reported a 60% improvement in total pain from baseline using the Visual Analog Scale. 

By Catherine Longworth