Boston Scientific bets on a big future for bare metal stents

Boston Scientific ($BSX) gained a CE mark for a new platinum bare metal stent to treat coronary artery disease. While the stent market is fairly packed and mature in the developed world, device companies are rolling out new products and updates of older ones in an effort to stand out from the pack and grab more market share. Crucially, bare metal stents still have cachet and utility.

The new approval applies to Boston Scientific's Rebel Platinum Chromium coronary stent system, and it's designed to give physicians more options. It is basically the same technology behind the company's Promus Premier drug eluting stent, but minus the everolimus drug. Promus Premier gained FDA approval last fall and a CE mark in February 2013--a product with multiple diameters and lengths from which to choose--to reach a wider pool of potential cardiac stent patients.

Rebel doesn't have U.S. approval yet, however.

Drug-eluting stents have become far more commonplace as an option to unblock arteries. But the Natick, MA, company said in a statement that bare-metal stents remain an important tool to treat coronary artery disease and still command a large share of the global stent market. With that in mind, it's a smart move for Boston Scientific to update its bare-metal stent options to help it stay competitive.

"Boston Scientific is committed to advancing cardiology and providing the best treatment options for all patients with coronary artery disease," Kevin Ballinger, president of Boston Scientific's Interventional Cardiology division, said in a statement. "This includes innovating and improving the performance of bare metal stent technology to enhance patient options."

Rebel is following Boston Scientific's Promus Premier model of offering as many stent size options as possible. There are 48 sizes to choose from, with diameters ranging from 2.25 mm to 4.50 mm and lengths ranging from 8 mm to 32 mm.

Personalized medicine doesn't just apply to drug development. Patients' arteries also come in different shapes and sizes and the more stent options that accommodate this, the greater the potential for a personalized treatment. In turn, Boston Scientific boosts its chances of generating new revenue in a space that had become stagnant, and can help protect the market share it already has.

- read the release

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