For Abbott, Boston stents, it's a draw

When doctors and researchers meet, headlines ensue--and this weekend's annual meeting of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation was no exception. A salvo of stent-related news came out of that symposium. Here's a sampling:

  • A study found that Abbott Laboratories' Xience stent and Boston Scientific's Taxus Liberte product--the newest entrants to the U.S. stent market--worked equally well in heart attack victims. That's good news for Abbott, which has seen Xience gain ground on competitors since it was approved in July. But Boston Sci's new stent didn't get the FDA nod till last week, so it's at a come-from-behind disadvantage, analysts said.
  • A three-drug cocktail works best at warding off clots in patients with drug-coated stents in their coronary arteries, researchers found. Five studies showed better results when the generic cilostazol--a.k.a. Pletal, from Otsuka Pharmaceuticals--was added to standard therapy with aspirin and the Bristol-Myers Squibb/Sanofi-Aventis med Plavix.
  • Abbott announced two-year data from 30 patients in an early clinical trial, demonstrating that its bioabsorbable drug eluting stent successfully treated coronary artery disease and was absorbed into the walls of treated arteries within two years, leaving behind blood vessels that appeared to move and function similarly to unstented arteries.

- read the Abbott release
- see the Boston Globe story
- check out Boston Sci's Taxus Liberte approval in the WSJ
- get the three-drug news, also in the Globe