Biotronik unveils longer versions of key hybrid stent

Biotronik's Orsiro stent--Courtesy of Biotronik

Germany's Biotronik is rolling out two longer lengths of one of its signature stents in a bid that could help it stand out in a very crowded field.

Biotronik said it is rolling out 35-mm and 40-mm versions of its Orsiro hybrid drug-eluting stent, which is made, in part, with a bioabsorbable polymer. A patient in Bad Krozingen, Germany, was the first to receive the 40-mm size, the company said. That rollout follows positive safety data in two clinical trials (BIOFLOW-II and BIOFLOW-III) that, in part, successfully compared Orsiro to archrival Abbott's ($ABT) Xience Prime.

Stents are ubiquitous now, and so stent manufacturers have focused on anything that can give them an edge in a market that is hotly competitive in Europe and mature in the U.S. Larger sizes, smaller sizes, the ability of a stent to dissolve back into the body--all of these factors are increasingly in play as companies search for ways to stand out.

The thing is, Abbott, Boston Scientific ($BSX) and Medtronic ($MDT) have all played the size game before, launching tinier, narrower, wider and longer iterations of their signature stents. So how could Biotronik's move make a difference here? Size isn't the only factor at play. Orsiro debuted in 2011, and the company bills its product as the industry's "first hybrid DES with a bioabsorbable polymer matrix." Biotronik said its trial results and the product's attributes place it "at the forefront of the stent market" and that the new iterations give it an Orsiro stent size for almost every situation. Time will tell if the sales can back up the bravado.

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