Nevro Rebounds After Analysts Defend Shares On Patent Ruling

Shares of Nevro (NVRO) are on the rise after yesterday's selloff in response to a summary judgment issued in its patent fight with Boston Scientific (BSX). Commenting on the news, William Blair analyst Margaret Kaczor argued that the patent ruling is not as bad as it seems and is similar to the preliminary judgment published earlier this month. Her peers at Leerink, JPMorgan and Canaccord also defended Nevro, recommending buying the shares amid the weakness.

NON-INFRINGEMENT JUDGEMENT: Nevro was under pressure yesterday after a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that patent claims 18, 34, and 55 of the '125 patent, claims 5 and 34 of the '357 patent, claims 7, 12, 35, 37, and 58 of the '533 patent, and claims 1 and 22 of the '842 patent are invalid as indefinite. "Therefore, summary judgment is granted to Boston Scientific on those claims. For the remaining asserted claims, summary judgment of non-infringement is granted to Boston Scientific," a court order stated. Nevro announced this morning that the district court ruled in Nevro's favor with regard to six method claims in three Nevro patents, finding them patent eligible and rejecting Boston Scientific's arguments that the claims were invalid as indefinite. The court found that Boston Scientific is not currently infringing the six upheld method claims, added Nevro, which noted that Boston Scientific has not commercially launched a high-frequency SCS system in the U.S. Nevro believes that the six method claims that were upheld would effectively preclude Boston Scientific from commercially providing high-frequency SCS therapy between 1.5 kHz and 100 kHz in the U.S., the company also stated.

ANALYSTS SEE BUYING OPPORTUNITY: In a research note to investors this morning, William Blair's Kaczor told investors that the summary judgment issued yesterday is "not as bad as it seems" for Nevro. While the initial headline appears negative, the ruling is similar to the preliminary judgment published earlier this month, the analyst noted. Further, Kaczor pointed out that while some of the claims in the patents have been invalidated, the remaining claims, which include frequency ranges of 1.5 kHz to 100 kHz, were not invalidated. Nonetheless, she acknowledged that the judge found Boston Scientific did not infringe on the claims as its commercially available devices could not be programmed to frequencies that would infringe and that devices that could be programmed to high frequency that are being used in clinical trials are included in safe harbor provisions, which leaves the door open in the event that Boston commercially launches a device within the frequency ranges referenced above. The analyst believes, however, that even if Boston moves to launch a high-frequency device in the U.S., the company would likely have to file for FDA approval following the completion of its high-frequency trial. Kaczor reiterated an Outperform rating on Nevro shares.

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