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TransEnterix Posts Unispring Senhance Sales but All Is Not Lost

Posted on February 26, 2019 by Medtech[y] Staff

In early trading, TransEnterix is down almost 10%, dipping below $3 after announcing an uninspiring Q4 earnings report.

We've written at length about the importance for TransEnterix to show capital system sales growth in Q4 of 2018 as well as Q1 of 2019.

While TransEnterix hit their Q4 capital projections of five Senhance systems, a majority of those systems are outside the U.S with three sold in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa), one in the U.S., and one in Asia.

While any system sale is important for the growth of the company, Senhance sales within the United States hold higher weight to analysts and the overall market, as historically the U.S. healthcare market helps drive adoption and growth of procedures throughout the world. In short, surgeons from outside the U.S. look to what surgeons in the U.S. are using when they are making buying decisions.

Not all is lost though. TransEnterix has done a very good job of meeting their key priorities for 2018 and they still have an opportunity to increase their capital system traction in Q1 of 2019, which would be at the six quarter mark since Senhance's FDA Clearance.

Here are the rest of the highlights:

  • Sold five Senhance Systems globally in the fourth quarter in 2018
  • Total revenue of $7.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2018
  • Received U.S. FDA clearance for Senhance Ultrasonic System subsequent to the end of the 2018 fourth quarter
  • Received U.S. FDA clearance for 3mm diameter instruments
  • Received CE Mark for articulating instruments and submitted its application for U.S. FDA 510(k) clearance during the fourth quarter
  • Received Taiwanese FDA approval for the Senhance System instruments in the fourth quarter of 2018
  • Closed acquisition of substantially all of the assets of MST Medical Surgery Technologies Ltd., an Israel-based medical technology company

What are the benefits of the Senhance Surgical System?

“2018 was a transformative year for TransEnterix, as we continued to drive the global commercial adoption of the Senhance System - both in terms of expanding our installed base as well as expanding the applicability of the Senhance System by increasing its indications for use, expanding the variety of instruments available with the Senhance System, and expanding into new geographies by receiving additional regulatory clearances,” said

Todd M. Pope, President and CEO of TransEnterix. “In 2019, we see a significant opportunity to leverage all of the progress we made in 2018 to continue to grow the adoption of the Senhance System globally.”

Going Forward

Not all is lost though. TransEnterix and their CEO, Todd Pope, have done an admirable job of being one of the only companies to inspire investors in the pursuit of taking on Intuitive Surgical and having an actual shot at capturing market share.

It should be understood that Intuitive Surgical has done a better job than any company in the history of the medical device industry in cementing their footprint into every hospital and imprinting themselves as the only option for surgeons considering the adoption of robotic surgery.

The clock is definitely clicking and it will not be easy. This quarter is becoming the most important one yet after a uninspiring capital performance in what is historically the busiest quarter in the medical device industry from a hospital spending perspective.

Now they have their backs against the wall in what is historically one of the slowest capital spending quarters of the year. Don't take this as a negative as TransEnterix is clearly doing some things right. However, if the company doesn't see their window of opportunity slowly closing, they aren't as aware as they need to be.

From someone with a history of success in capital sales, the bell better be ringing off the hook in the home office this quarter.