Boston Scientific buys new stent company

Boston Scientific has acquired Labcoat Limited, a company that focuses on drug-eluting stent technology, under undisclosed terms.  Boston Scientific said in a press release that Labcoat has developed a new technology for coronary stents.

Wire-mesh stents can help keep arteries open after they are unclogged. Drug-eluting stents are coated in medications that aim to help prevent the arteries from clogging again. Some studies have shown that the drug-eluting stents reduce the rate of reclogging, but others have shown they do not prevent heart attacks or deaths any more than their cheaper metal counterparts do.    

The new technology will allow coating of stents with precisely metered droplets of a biodegradable polymer and drug formulation to form an ultra-thin layer of coating on the outer surface of the stent. According to Boston Scientific, the technology will reduce reclogging as much as standard drug-eluting stents, but will do so more quickly and while providing more complete vessel healing following implant of the device. The biodegradable coating resorbs after drug delivery, leaving only the metal stent in the vessel.

Abbott and Elixir Medical have similar technology, it seems, as both have clinical trials underway on stents with biodegradable polymer. Abbott Labs, Medtronic, Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific currently have stents on the market with the older technology.  

Labcoat Limited is a privately held located in Galway, Ireland. "This technology represents a major advance for drug-eluting stents and should help us maintain our strong position in this market," said Boston Scientific president and chief executive Jim Tobin in a statement. Shares of Boston Scientific rose 50 cents yesterday afternoon to $8.06. The company's 52-week high for shares is $14.22.

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