Medtronic, Abbott Swap to Stay In Drug Stent Race
Medtronic and Abbott Laboratories, both lagging in the race to develop drug-eluting stents, are teaming up to bolster their respective programs in that field. Medtronic lacks a viable anti-restenosis drug and a polymer coating, while Abbott doesn't have a delivery system. Yet, Medtronic has an over-the-wire delivery system and Abbott has a promising anti-proliferative agent in clinical trials. Together, the companies believe they can become viable players in what is sure to be a lucrative, albeit fiercely competitive market.
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Scott Ward, head of Medtronic Vascular, talks about rebuilding this business with, without and beyond drug-eluting stents, while being third in a blockbuster market.
While the greater efficacy of drug-eluting stents (DES) compared to bare-metal stents is widely accepted, over the past year, data has continued to build showing that first-generation DES also have a higher late-stage in-stent thrombosis risk, a complication that can cause death 30% of the time, according to some estimates. The findings of these studies had some physicians at this year's World Congress of Cardiology calling for "an immediate halt to DES overuse." However, most conceded that additional randomized trials will be needed to fully understand the potential risks associated with these devices.
Medtronic has gained rights to ReVas, a drug development program based on novel targets of vascular inflammation, from Resverlogix, for use with drug-eluting stents to prevent thrombosis.