Abbott Developing Melt Away Heart Stent

Our Nominee for Invention of the Month!
Melt-Away Stent Works Well in Trial
By Ed Edelson
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, March 13 (HealthDay News) -- A polymer stent that is quietly absorbed by the body after it has done its job of keeping a coronary artery open has worked well in an international trial, researchers report.

The stent was successfully implanted in 29 of 31 attempts, the report said. In a one-year follow-up, none of the arteries in which the bio-absorbable stent had been implanted had closed again. One of the 30 people given the stent had a heart attack during that time, but no other adverse events were reported, according to the report in the March 15 issue of The Lancet.

A major clinical trial of the experimental stent is under way in several countries, said Karin Bauer, a spokeswoman for Abbott Laboratories, the company that developed the device. Plans for a U.S. trial are in the preliminary stages, she said.

"We currently are looking at the safety and feasibility of using the bio-absorbable stent platform in patients here," Bauer said. "Once we have completed the international trial, we will look at the feasibility of bringing such a trial to the United States, but we haven't made any decision as to when that might be."

The new stent has a backbone of lactic acid. It also is coated with everolimus, a drug that prevents formation of scar tissue.

Traditional stents are wire metal mesh tubes used to prop open an artery during angioplasty, a procedure done to clear blockages from the blood vessel. ...

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