Beyond Drug-Coated Stents
'Drug-coated stents' success will usher in a new era in interventional cardiology, argues Marty Leon, MD, one of the nation's top interventional cardiologists. He sees interventionalists taking the lead in new areas and expanding their presence in others, such as interventional radiology, and interventional neurology. New nanotechnologies will be used to manufacture stents to ensure better adhesion of therapeutic agents, and these will need new access technologies and imaging systems, for example.
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2001 was a mixed year for health-care manufacturers, characterized by real advances in cardiac device therapies, the maturing of the biotech and generics sectors, and the continued embattlement of Big Pharma. Here's the staff of IN VIVO's list of the most important trends.
Stents have been very effective at avoiding elastic recoil by mechanically holding arteries open after balloon angioplasty. They have also, to a certain extent, alleviated the problem of restenosis, the reocclusion of the artery in the months following angioplasty. Unfortunately, however, stents don't go far enough to prevent restenosis--anywhere from 10% to 40% of patients will develop restenosis within six months of revascularization procedures--and the devices frequently result in a new, man-made and difficult-to-treat kind of restenosis, known as in-stent restenosis. Thus, device developers are putting serious development effort into enhanced stents that can carry and deliver drugs to combat restenosis locally.
While it's far too early to begin talking about a phoenix-like resurgence, Johnson & Johnson shows initial signs of at least shaking up what in recent years has become a far too comfortably stratified coronary stent market. J&J's Cordis Corp. received FDA approval of its new Bx Velocity stent in mid-May, several weeks earlier than anticipated.