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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS | ORANGE COUNTY BRIEFLY

Radiance Shares Jump Nearly 39% on Optimism Over Catheter Trials

April 05, 2001|Dow Jones

Radiance Medical Systems Inc. stock surged nearly 39% Wednesday after bullish comments from analysts about the Irvine company's clinical trials for a radiation balloon catheter.

Shares of the Irvine medical products maker climbed $1.19 to $4.25 in Nasdaq trading, one of the best percentage gains in U.S. markets. Earlier in the session, the shares traded as high as $4.50.

Analysts said the company's U.S. clinical studies remain on track. A day earlier, Prudential Securities Inc. reiterated its strong buy rating for Radiance.

Radiance's RDX catheter should receive clearance to be marketed in Europe in the second quarter, Prudential analyst Sandy Hollenhorst wrote in her note about the rating. Japanese clinical trials remain on track to begin in June.

Greg Simpson, an analyst at A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc., said European approval for RDX, which delivers radiation via a balloon catheter, should come in the "next few weeks to few months."

The radiation, sandwiched between layers of the balloon, is directed to the problem area of a blood vessel and then released for a calculated amount of time to prevent the vessel's re-clogging, he said.

Investors' optimism about Radiance achieving European approval might be contributing to the stock's rise, Simpson said.

In addition, the stock appears to be recovering after being under pressure Friday and Monday, apparently due to several "big sellers" and the scarcity of small-cap buyers in the current market conditions, he said.

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