March 10 A drug-coated heart stent from Japan's
Terumo Corp with a dissolving polymer proved just as
effective as Abbott Laboratories' top-selling Xience
stent at preventing a second procedure to clear the artery, a
large study found.
Stents are small wire-mesh structures inserted into narrowed
coronary arteries to restore proper blood flow. Many models are
coated with a polymer that slowly releases a drug designed to
prevent another blockage and repeat procedure.
New drug-coated stents with dissolving polymers are being
developed in response to data showing the older so-called
durable polymers may trigger an inflammatory reaction that
raises a patient's stroke risk.
In the study of more than 3,200 patients, Terumo's Nobori
stent met its primary goal of non-inferiority to the Xience
stent one year after implantation, with 4.2 percent of patients
in both groups requiring a repeat procedure.
Patients also had low similar rates of stent thrombosis, or
device-related blood clot formation, with both the Nobori and
Xience stents. The study, sponsored by Terumo and conducted by
researchers at Kyoto University, was presented Sunday at the
American College of Cardiology scientific meeting in San
Abbott's Xience stent is the market leader in Japan with a
50 percent share and the top-selling U.S. drug-coated stent with
a 40 percent share.
The company is developing a new stent, called Absorb, that
completely dissolves away in the body. It will present data on
that device at the ACC meeting on Monday.
Abbott's U.S. stent rivals are Boston Scientific Corp
and Medtronic Inc.