(Yicai Global) Sept. 13 -- Abbott Vascular Inc., a division of Abbott Laboratories [NYSE:ABT] and a global leader in cardiac and vascular care, will stop making its first-generation absorbable coronary stent product, Absorb Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (Absorb BVS), due to low commercial sales.
The company will continue work on a next-generation biodegradable device to replace the world’s first and only fully dissolving heart stent, which was originally approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in July last year.
Abbott's preliminary research results showed that the body can almost fully absorb the product in about three years, though some researchers in China disagree on its effectiveness and are concerned about possible side effects.
"It takes three and a half years for polylactic acid used by absorbable stents to be absorbed,” said Ge Junbo, director of the Chinese Society of Cardiovascular Diseases. “However, clinically recommended dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) lasts only 12 months, so that would be inappropriate for use.
“Existing clinical guidelines were developed for drug-eluting stents. However, the absorption can lead to inflammation and activation of blood platelets, which requires extended antiplatelet therapy,” he said.
Abbott’s official website does not mention the issues Ge raised, and attributes the halt in sales to low commercial sales.
Research on the product has attracted high levels of attention in China, a leading nation in terms of the number of percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) surgeries. The country represents the world's second-biggest vascular stent market after the US, Ge said. Doctors performed nearly 670,000 PCI surgeries in China last year, up by around 100,000 annually.
Ge led a team to implant a fully absorbable stent in August 2013, the first operation of its kind in China. The stent can provide mechanical support for coronary arteries after being implanted into the body while releasing drugs to prevent arteries from narrowing further.
The stent is then absorbed by tissue, leading to a full recovery of vascular structures and functions. A new generation of fully bioresorbable vascular scaffolds, the Xinsorb BVS, the Firesorb and the NeoVas are currently in the clinical research stage.Keywords: Abbott Vascular, Medical treatment, Biodegradable Stent, Percutaneous Coronary Intervention