Boston Scientific Corp. can’t seem to catch a break.
Despite the publication of results from vairous clinical trials that show the superiority of drug-eluting stents — and, in one study, the superiority of the Natick device goliath’s DES over its competitors’ — its share price took a more than 2 percent dive today.
First came a 3,006-patient trial published by the New England Journal of Medicine (subscription) comparing its Taxus Express2 paclitaxel-eluting stent with its Express bare-metal stent. It showed patients fared better one year after implantation with the DES than with the bare-metal stent.
Another study, which also ran in the NEJM, examined nearly 48,000 patients in Sweden who received coronary stents between 2003 and 2006. That study indicated that drug-eluting stents cut the incidence of restenosis (re-narrowing of the artery) by a significant margin:
“As compared with bare-metal stents, drug-eluting stents are associated with a similar long-term incidence of death or myocardial infarction and provide a clinically important decrease in the rate of restenosis among high-risk patients.”
Then there’s a pair of reports from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (subscription), one comparing the paclitaxel-eluting Taxus with Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Cordis’ sirolus-eluting Cypher and the second comparing BSC’s Taxus Express and Liberté stents with the Cypher and with Medtronic’s zotarolimus-eluting Endeavor stent in patients with diabetes mellitus.
There was no clear winner in the Taxus vs. Cypher study, in which 302 patients were implanted with the BoSci product and 305 with the Cordis device:
“Implantation of either [Taxus] or [Cypher] in [unprotected left main coronary artery] lesions is safe and effective; both of these drug-eluting stents provide comparable clinical and angiographic outcomes.”
In the diabetes trial, which looked at more than 19,000 patients implanted with the drug-eluting stents, Boston Scientific won hands down. Patients with diabetes mellitus had twice the rate of restenosis with the Medtronic device and higher rates with the Cypher:
“Restenosis rate with the paclitaxel-eluting Taxus Express and Liberté stents was unrelated to [diabetes mellitus]. Mortality did not differ between different [drug-eluting stents]. … Restenosis rate with [drug-eluting stents] was higher in patients with [diabetes mellitus] compared with that in patients without [diabetes mellitus]. There seem to be important differences between different brands of [drug-eluting stents].”
Despite the positive results, BSC shares closed down nearly 2.6 percent today, at $9.07 per share, after opening at $9.16.
That may be due to a prior study lingering in investors’ minds. It showed that the Taxus didn’t fare so well against its Xience V competitor from Abbott Laboratories.
One wrinkle is that Boston Scientific also markets Xience under the private-label Promus brand, though it pays royalties from those sales back to Abbott.