Medtronic to Launch Coronary Stents, Balloon Catheters on Rapid Exchange in U.S.


October 31, 2008

October 30, 2008 - Medtronic Inc. said today it plans to launch its portfolio of angioplasty products in the U.S. on the rapid exchange (RX) delivery system, including the Endeavor drug-eluting stent (DES), the Driver and MicroDriver bare-metal stents, and the NC (non-compliant) Sprinter balloon catheter systems.

Used in angioplasty procedures to treat coronary artery disease, RX is a short-, single-wire delivery system that can be used by one operator. It is the preferred delivery system of about three-quarters of U.S. interventional cardiologists, the company said. Medtronic anticipates that access to RX will increase usage of its angioplasty products in the United States.

“RX is a prescription for greater success in cardiac catheterization laboratories nationwide going forward,” said Sean Salmon, vice president and general manager of the coronary and peripheral vascular business at Medtronic. “Delivering the Endeavor stent on RX makes our flagship DES even more deliverable. Given the popularity of RX among physicians, patients with coronary artery disease across the country will soon be much more likely to receive the Endeavor stent, which has demonstrated both long-term safety and durable efficacy in extensive clinical research.”

Metronic believes offering RX will substantially boost its U.S. stent and balloon catheter sales, since its competitors already offer stents and balloons that use the more popular delivery system.

Abbott’s patent on its rapid exchange (RX) delivery system was supposed to expire Oct. 29. However, Abbott filed for a one-year patent extension, which was temporarily granted Oct. 17 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. A decision is still pending on Abbott’s request to extend the patent until 2011 to account for time it took to develop and get FDA approval for its Xience stent.

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