Sales of Boston Scientific Corp.‘s Taxus drug-eluting stent have been declining since 2006, according to restated earnings reports from Angiotech Pharmaceuticals Inc., which makes paclitaxel, the drug used in the stent’s coating.
The Vancouver-based pharmaceutical company’s drug is designed to reduce restenosis, or the re-narrowing of blood vessels after stents are implanted. Angiotech reaps just under 7 percent of the net sales of Taxus stents worldwide, in royalties for BSX’s use of its product.
Since hitting a high-water mark in 2005, Angiotech’s royalty revenues from paclitaxel-eluting stents plummeted nearly 50 percent, to $84 million last year — its smallest haul in more than five years.
Last quarter, Angiotech reported a slight rebound in royalty payments on a quarter-by-quarter basis, and officials sounded optimistic that Taxus sales may have “stabilized after several quarterly periods of significant decline.”
For its part, the Natick, Mass.-based medical device colossus said Taxus sales were down 9.6 percent during the three months ended Sept. 30, to $245 million, compared with $271 million during the same period last year.
Taxus sales have declined significantly over the past two years, as competition has stiffened from other drug-eluting stent makers like Medtronic or Johnson & Johnson’s Cordis Corp. subsidiary. Even so, BSX said it lays claim to an estimated 49 percent share of the DES market in the U.S.