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Varian Up on Tie-Up With Kenya’s Mediheal Group of Hospitals


Varian Medical Systems, Inc. VAR recently collaborated with Kenya’s Mediheal Group of Hospitals to expand radiotherapy access in the country.

Notably, shares of Varian rose 2.5% to $109.21 at close following the announcement. In the past six months, the stock has declined 13.7% compared with the industry’s decline of 19.1%. The current level is lower than the S&P 500 index’s rally of 15.9%.

The stock carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Per the terms of the agreement, one Varian TrueBeam system and four Varian Halcyon systems will be supplied to five new radiotherapy centers across Kenya, apart from providing service, training and research opportunities.

Notably, TrueBeam is a fully-integrated system, designed for image-guided radiotherapy and radiosurgery. The company’s Halcyon radiotherapy treatment system has been designed to streamline every aspect of image-guided volumetric intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT).

Market Prospects

Going by data from the World Health Organization, more than 40,000 people are diagnosed with cancer annually in Kenya.

Moreover, MarketsandMarkets projects global radiotherapy market growth to $9.47 billion by 2022 from 2017, at a CAGR of 6.8%.

Hence, the latest move has been a strategic one for the California-based provider of cancer care solutions.

Varian in Emerging Economies

Varian has a strong presence in emerging economies like Africa, Latin America and Asia.

In May, Varian announced that Halcyon is now being used in three centers of Africa — Clinique le Littoral Casablanca and Centre d'Oncologie Nakhil Rabat in Morocco, and Busamed Oncology Center, Hillcrest.

Additionally, the company announced a software technology training and education cooperation agreement with the Brazil Ministry of Health (MOH), and seven universities and science and technology institutions (ICTs). (Read More: Varian Medical Merges With Brazil MOH to Fight Cancer)

The company also announced that the first two brain cancer patients were treated at Korea’s Ajou University Hospital, using HyperArc High Definition Radiotherapy (HDRT), a new type of radiosurgery treatment.

In fact, in the last reported quarter, Varian’s gross orders in the APAC region grew 9% at constant currency.

Key Picks

A few better-ranked stocks from the broader medical space are athenahealth ATHN, Intuitive Surgical ISRG and Masimo Corporation MASI.

athenahealth has a long-term expected earnings growth rate of 17.6%. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Intuitive Surgical’s expected long-term earnings growth rate is 14.7%. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1.

Masimo’s long-term earnings growth rate is projected at 14.8%. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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