Labcoat: Less is more in Next Generation Drug-Eluting Stents
Many believe that the one-size-fits-all approach to drug-eluting stent design taken not only by the current market players, Cordis and Boston Scientific, but also by several companies with products nearing approval--e.g., Medtronic, Guidant and Abbott Laboratories-is a contributor to the problem of complications. Today's uniform manufacturing processes ensure that every stent is identical in polymer coating and drug dosage, and that means that the amount of polymer and drug generally may exceed the amount needed to prevent restenosis. Labcoat is focusing on a process by which it can coat stents with varying amounts of drug and polymer to address specific patient needs. Using precision jetting (similar to inkjet printer technology), the company can apply droplets of bioerodable polymer and drug on a stent in a precise pattern. Instead of coating the entire device, Labcoat can more precisely dose both drug and polymer so that the patient's vessels are only exposed to the minimal required amount of each substance, while the inside surface of the stent remains bare, to encourage more rapid and complete endothelial coverage. By using less drug and polymer, Labcoat hopes to minimize the thrombosis complications, and also provide a less expensive product that can be adapted to treat a broad range of patients.
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