These big medtech names performed the best in early 2017

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Abbott Laboratories

[Image courtesy of Abbott Labs]

Abbott Laboratories: +16%

Major medtech player Abbott has seen a massive year so far in 2017, starting the year by closing its $25 billion buy of St. Jude Medical and following up with the $4.3 billion divestiture of its medical optics biz to Johnson & Johnson a month later.
Abbott is still searching for a way out of its’s $5.8 billion acquisition of Alere, after EU anti-trust regulators cleared the deal in January, but despite the possible rough patch ahead, shares have steadily risen so far.
Shares in the Abbott Park, Ill.–based company have swung up nearly 16% in 2017, rising from $38.41 on Jan. 1 to close at $44.41 on March 31.
The company has seen a wealth of new clearances for its devices so far this year, and just this week released study data from a pivotal trial of its HeartMate 3 left ventricular assist device, which it picked up with St. Jude.
Abbott, though, could face some challenges related to its Absorb bioresorbable stent. Absorb was one of the most promising medical devices that FDA approved last year. But there is a cloud over the stent’s potential after FDA last month issued a warning to physicians. Abbott announced today that it plans to restrict the use of its Absorb bioresorbable stent in Europe.
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