Abbott's Absorb takes India by storm

Abbott's Absorb has performed well after just a few months on the Indian market.--Courtesy of Abbott Laboratories.

Abbott Laboratories ($ABT) has a lot riding on Absorb, its dissolvable stent, but if the device's popularity in India is any indication the company will have no trouble reaping revenue around the world.

As Times of India reports, doctors have implanted more than 2,500 Absorb stents since the device's launch in late September, spread across 250 centers in 45 cities. Cardiologists told the paper that user demand is driving the quick adoption, as patients lured by Absorb's promise to dissolve in the artery after about two years request the latest technology in their procedures.

And, for Abbott's struggling vascular business, a worldwide uptick can't come soon enough. Last quarter, vascular sales dropped 7.7% total and 19.3% in the U.S. alone as Abbott slashed jobs and transitioned away from older implants.

But Abbott brass believes Absorb is the key to growth for the whole vascular business. While the device's European adoption is taking a bit longer than the company anticipated, CEO Miles White said he's confident Absorb will become a "workhorse" stent for the company over time.

While Abbott was the first to get a dissolvable stent on the worldwide market, the company now has to contend with Elixir Medical's DESolve and Boston Scientific's ($BSX) Synergy, two CE marked implants gaining traction on the back of positive study data.

However, Abbott is also likely to be first in line to cash in on U.S. demand for the devices, kicking off an FDA-targeted trial of 2,250 patients in January. The study will compare Absorb to Abbott's well-established Xience stents, aiming to duplicate the positive safety and efficacy data of the device's 5 previous studies.

- read the Times story