BEACON TRANSCRIPT – The new absorbable stent from Abbott Laboratories got approved by the FDA. It’s almost like magic: a stent that helps the heart and then disappears. The stent has the unique property of dissolving after treating a clotted blood vessel. This kind of technology is a premiere in the USA, as Abbott representative put it.
The Absorb stent treats the coronary disease of the artery without an obligatory permanent implant. This gives people piece of mind and helps them get back to their routine without any worries. Abbott was very pleased to bring Absorb to American patients.
The device is currently sold in over 100 countries and has the potential to boost the fight against coronary heart disease by reducing exposure to outside substances. Stents are small tubes designed to keep arteries open. Traditional metal stents restrict movement and limit future options for treatment.
Absorb is made from a degradable material, a lot like absorbable medical stitches, only this material dissolves in three years. According to a clinical trial, Absorb behaved just as good as a medical stent. However, there was a slightly higher incidence of thrombosis, in patients who got Absorb, making some cardiologists wary.
An FDA panel supported the absorbable stent in March, leading to overall approval, as the benefits far outweighed the risks. The panel felt that this could be the next step regarding technology, and it performed well, compared to the gold standard.
Patients who have metallic stents implanted need to take drugs to keep them from clotting. With Absorb, there is hope that patients won’t have to take drugs in the long term.
Coronary heart disease kills about 370,000 people each year in the US. Heart stents are used on approximately 850,000 American patients each year.
The stent market is dominated by only a few big players, like Abbott, Medtronic or Boston Scientific. Abbott did not disclose Absorb’s price. A spokesman for the company said it would be modestly higher priced than the company’s conventional stents.
The device has been commonly used in Western Europe for about five years. Abbott aims to train and teach physicians around the world about the use of vascular imaging and why it helped in the development process for Absorb, the absorbable stent.