Industry News: Abbott Laboratories, ASRT, Boston Scientific, GE
Abbott Laboratories said that its Xience V drug-eluting stent has been shown to be effective in treating coronary artery disease in patients with diabetes, Reuters reports. Diabetic patients are more prone to restenosis, or growth of scar tissue that can blocks arteries after stent treatment. The company said its stent showed nearly identical rates of vessel narrowing in diabetics as those in the overall patient population.

The National Atomic Museum started construction on a new $10 million facility in Albuquerque, N.M., that will focus on the history of nuclear science, including the many medical applications of nuclear technology. Once completed, the facility will be called the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. The American Society of Radiologic Technologists, a supporter of the museum, is supporting the “X Is for X-ray” exhibit, which explores medical imaging technology.

In other stent-related news, Boston Scientific will provide lead financial support for an extension of the STENT drug-eluting stent registry to study the effects of late stent thrombosis in drug-eluting stents. The STENT (Strategic Transcatheter Evaluation of New Therapies) registry is the largest drug-eluting stent (DES) study ever reported in the United States. It was initiated in 2003 to evaluate the long-term efficacy and safety of paclitaxel-eluting and sirolimus-eluting coronary stents among real-world patients and clinical situations. With this agreement, Boston Scientific will support extension of that study to include the examination of stent thrombosis. The STENT Thrombosis Study will be sponsored by Charles Simonton, MD, of the Carolinas Heart Institute, Charlotte, N.C., and Gregg Stone, MD, of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation in New York. Approximately 10,000 new patients undergoing DES implantation will be enrolled in the second phase of this prospective registry. Enrollment of patients in the STENT Thrombosis Study would begin in early 2007, and plans are for it to be completed within 12 to 18 months.

GE Healthcare is showcasing this week at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., its Innova 3131IQ and 2121IQ digital flat panel Biplane Imaging Systems. The systems, recently granted FDA clearance, cover the full size of the patient’s lateral and frontal anatomy simultaneously for a variety of cardiovascular and neurovascular image-guided interventional procedures. Thus, procedures can be done with fewer x-ray images and contrast injections. Both systems are indicated for use in cardiovascular imaging, diagnostic and interventional procedures, and 3D imaging of vessels and soft tissue. The Innova IQ platform is capable of imaging the finest vessels and cardiovascular anatomy based on the digital flat-panel technology invented and developed by GE Healthcare for medical imaging. The GE panel also enables it to perform high-quality 3D Flat Panel Rotational Imaging to produce 3D images of the vascular system, bone, and soft tissue in the body. The new Innova Biplane systems also offer 20 cm and 30 cm area coverage. Also at the conference, the company announced that Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in California has selected the LightSpeed VCT, a 64-slice CT system, for its cardiac CT program.