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DES Landscape May Shift Dramatically

Analysts and physicians interviewed by Bloomberg News expect that by 2009, Abbott and Medtronic will have seized at least one-third of the $5 billion stent market. Abbott's Xience and Medtronic's Endeavor, both drug-eluting stents, are expected to receive FDA approval within the next year. Studies for both have been encouraging. Xience was found to be safer than Boston Scientific's Taxus after one year. Xience patients had fewer blood clots, heart attacks, repeat procedures, and cardiac deaths.

Xience has also won praise for its ease of delivery. Endeavor, meanwhile, has shown almost no risk of blood clots whatsoever. Boston Scientific won't miss out on the new wave entirely, though. Xience comes from technology developed by Guidant, and Boston Scientific had to sell it off to Abbott as a condition of the Guidant acquisition. But that deal allows Boston Scientific to sell a copy of Xience called Promus in some markets. And both Taxus and J&J's Cypher have shown effectiveness in high-risk patients, such as those with diabetes, so they may not lose much if any ground in that part of the market.

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