Medtronic Presents Results, Humana Slides On Post-Election Downgrades: Healthcare Business Recap

Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) has reported interim findings from clinical trials which indicate that biventricular pacing could provide a significant advantage and improved patient outcomes when compared to conventional right ventricular pacing among pacemaker patients. The results were presented as a recent clinical trial at the American Heart Association’s 2012 Scientific Sessions, and exhibit a relative risk reduction of 27 percent in the aggregate of death and healthcare utilization visits among patients who need intravenous heart failure therapy.

The chief executive search at WellPoint (NYSE:WLP) could extend into the first quarter of next year, says interim executive John Cannon to investors on his firm’s earnings call after its third quarter results. Cannon limited his comments on the subject to the one statement, saying that it would be “inappropriate” to describe in detail the hunt for a new chief.

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Shares of the managed care provider Humana (NYSE:HUM) slid on the day, driven by a couple of post-election downgrades. Goldman Sachs downgraded the shares to Sell, explaining that they are precariously highly exposed to Medicare Advantage, which increases the stocks’ regulatory risk and uncertainty subsequent to President Obama’s victory. Goldman also slashed its price target from $77 to $62.

Auxilium Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:AUXL) concludes its collaboration with Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), which was to develop the drug Xiapex as a treatment for Dupuytren’s disease in the European Union and other European and Eurasian countries. The arrangement will cease no later than April 24, 2013, after which the rights to commercialize Xiapex will revert to Auxilium.

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