Results from Abbott’s (NYSE:ABT) Spirit IV trial, which the company said confirms the superiority of its Xience V drug-eluting stent over Boston Scientific Corp.’s (NYSE:BSX) Taxus, were published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The Abbott Park, Ill.-based medical products conglomerate’s study examined 3,690 U.S.-based patients, finding that individuals treated with its stent were less likely to suffer a heart attack, need a repeat procedure, or suffer a blood clot or cardiac-related death.
The latest trial compared the medical procedures undergone by patients treated with Abbott’s XIENCE V everolimus-eluting stent to those treated with Boston Scientific’s Taxus Express2 paclitaxel-eluting stent. It’s the latest skirmish in the long-running battle over the stents market between BSX, Abbott, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT). Last fall Abbott released data from its Spirit III trial showing a 43 percent reduction in the risk of major adverse cardiac events, compared with patients implanted with the Taxus Express device. Medtronic lobbed another grenade last autumn, touting a long-term study it said shows that its Endeavor drug-eluting stent is safer than the rival Taxus. Johnson & Johnson’s Cordis Corp. in turn set its sights on the Endeavor in March, with data from the Sort Out III trial of its Cypher DES showing lower rates of mortality, heart attack and major adverse events over 18 months.
Abbott attributed its strong first-quarter showing to sales of its Xience stents.