Abbott (NYSE:ABT) enrolled its first patients in a Japanese trial of the Absorb bioresorbable vascular scaffold.
The Absorb stent opens clogged blood vessels and provides support to restore blood flow, and dissolves within about two years.
Since the stent dissolves rather than leaving behind a metal scaffold, the treated vessel may be able to regain the ability to move, flex, pulsate and dilate, according to Abbott’s press release.
The device won CE Mark approval in the European Union in January. At the time, the Abbott Park, Ill.-based health care conglomerate touted the device as the "world’s first drug-eluting bio-resorbable vascular scaffold for the treatment of coronary artery disease," but several other companies had their own bioresorbable stents in the works.
"For Japanese patients, this technology will hold tremendous appeal, as it is designed to treat a clogged blood vessel like a drug eluting stent and then dissolve, thereby restoring a more natural vessel function without leaving a permanent metallic implant behind in the body," Dr. Shigeru Saito, who was the first to implant the device in patient during the trial, said in prepared remarks.
Abbott, which ranked 1st on the MassDevice Big 100 list of the world’s largest medical device companies, is now enrolling patients in nearly 20 counties in Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific.
In other Abbott news, the company announced that it plans to expand its footprint in China, investing $230 million to build a state-of-the-art nutrition manufacturing facility to meet growing demand for powdered milk products, according to a press release.