5. Lukewarm: Bioabsorbable Stents

Brian Buntz

February 22, 2016

2 Min Read
5. Lukewarm: Bioabsorbable Stents

5. Lukewarm: Bioabsorbable Stents

For about a decade, bioabsorbable stents were hailed as one of the most promising technologies in cardiology. Now, the future prospects of the technology are less than certain after a clinical trial found that the technology was merely "noninferior" to Abbott's preexisting Xience stent.

Abbott has spent some 15 years developing its Absorb device and physicians had been anxiously following clinical trials related to the device, which promised to address some of the complications of heart patients treated with stents, including thrombosis and restenosis.

The results of Abbotts' clinical trial, announced late last year, were mixed. The Absorb performed slightly worse the Xience in terms of preventing deaths, heart attacks, and the need for repeat stent procedures. The rate of such events was 7.8% for Absorb patients and 6.1% for the control group.   

Nevertheless, these are still early days (at least in the United States) for bioabsorbable polymer stent technology. Many interventional cardiologists have expected that the technology would ultimately supplant traditional metallic bare metal and drug eluting stents.  

Last year, Boston Scientific beat Abbott to become the first company to market bioabsorbable polymer stents in the U.S. "The Synergy Stent is a next generation therapy designed to improve patient outcomes and ultimately reduce health care costs associated with the treatment of coronary artery disease," said Kevin Ballinger, president, interventional cardiology of Boston Scientific in a statement.

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