Report: Introduction of bioabsorbable stents to change the market

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The bioabsorbable stent, expected to enter the market in 2012, will be used in almost 4 percent of stent procedures in its first year of use, according to the Millennium Research Group (MRG).

The report, “Emerging Technologies for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Coronary Artery Disease 2008” found that the device is expected to replace the popular drug-eluting stent (DES) as the gold standard treatment for patients with coronary artery disease.

Depending on the outcome of current research efforts, the bioabsorbable stent could capture more than 80 percent of stent procedures within 5 years of its release.

The growth would be fueled by bioabsorbable stents' lowered requirement for anti-platelet therapy, the report said. Patients find long-term drug regimens burdensome, and a percentage of patients are physically unable to be put on anti-thrombotic drugs due to allergies or other complications.

The introduction of bare-metal stents (BMS) revolutionized the practice of cardiology, but restenosis presented a significant obstacle with these devices. When drug-eluting stents were launched in the United States in 2003, restenosis rates dropped below 10 percent. Yet, recent clinical studies have linked DES to thrombosis risks.

“If clinical trial results show that they are superior to DES in terms of stent thrombosis and restenosis, adoption of these devices will take off and they will likely become the favored treatment option for coronary artery disease patients,” according to Anuk Karunaratne, an analyst at MRG.