Vascular stents are ‘spring-like’ cylindrical and hollow metal-based implantable devices for the treatment of vessel related blockages. It
was supported by medical professionals to be a viable alternative to percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) or
coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) for the treatment of coronary atherosclerosis. Since the early 1990s, bare metal stents have
started their implantation in patients throughout Asia. Cardiac surgeons have since then preferred the use of stents compared to
balloon angioplasty as the rate of re-stenosis amongst patients have shown to decrease to about 20 to 25 percent as opposed to
PTCA’s 30 to 40 percent. Even though stents implantation is a costlier alternative to PTCA, the ...view middle of the document...
This has been the main cause of re-stenosis amongst patients.
In order to counter this, researchers have come up with drug-coated stents. This coated drug acts as agent to inhibit tissue growth and
thus prevent re-stenosis. These stents are referred to in the industry as drug-eluting stents (DES) as they have the capability to
release drugs at a constant rate. The 2 most common drugs utilized in stents are Paclitaxel, which is licensed by Bristol-Myers, and
Squibb and Sirolimus, which is marketed by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Both of these drugs are suppressant drugs. Paclitaxel is used to
treat tumor growth and Sirolimus prevents organ rejection.
In late 2005, the FDA approved only two drugs for drug-coated stents. - Cypher Sirolimus-eluting stents by Johnson & Johnson
vascular devices arm Cordis Corporation and Taxus Express Paclitaxel-eluting stents by Boston Scientific.
However, at that time the DES market in Asia, valued at around US$ 1.5 billion, already had several other smaller companies
competing for it. Homegrown medical device companies in China and India like MicroPort Medical and Sahajanand Medical
Technologies are making waves in the market with their proprietary DES designs, referred to as the Firebird stents and Infinnium
stents respectively. Other companies like Guidant Corporation and Biosensors International have their DES already approved with the
CE Mark in Europe. Additionally, Biosensors have established a new DES design using a proprietary drug named Biolimus. The
clinical trials for this flagship DES called Biomatrix are conducted in association with another large medical device company, Terumo
Corporation. The interest being shown by large medical device companies further proves the point that DES is the way to go in the