Medtronic's novel hypertension device fails in trials

(Reuters) - Medtronic Inc's experimental device to treat high blood pressure failed to meet its main goal in a clinical trial, sending the company's shares down nearly 5 percent. The device, known as renal denervation system, is aimed at high blood pressure-patients who are resistant to traditional drug therapies and works by deadening nerves in kidneys. Analysts called the trial results disappointing, even though they did not have very high sales expectations from the device. "The impact of this news on Medtronic should be modest as we only model worldwide revenues (from the device) of ... 1.2 percent of total company sales in 2018," Wells Fargo Securities analyst Larry Biegelsen wrote in a note. However, despite meeting its main safety goal in the trial, Medtronic said it would halt ongoing trials of the device in the United States, Japan and India. The device was launched in Europe in April 2010, but its adoption was slow as austere governments were reluctant to pay for the unconventional technology. Several other medical device makers, including St Jude Medical Inc and Covidien, are also making devices aimed at treating high blood pressure. These devices work by creating tiny scars along nerves in the kidneys - organs that play a pivotal role in regulating blood pressure by sending signals to the brain that can cause blood vessels to constrict. This scarring process is carried out by threading a catheter through the renal arteries from the groin. It deadens the nerves and decreases blood pressure. Medtronic shares were down 2.5 percent at $59.29 in late morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. They touched a low of $57.92 earlier in the session. (Reporting by Esha Dey in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das and Savio D'Souza)