Boston Scientific's next-gen stent system makes U.S. debut

Boston Scientific ($BSX) won FDA approval for yet another next-generation drug-eluting coronary stent system and has immediately ramped up its marketing machine to pursue new sales.

The Massachusetts device company, still seeking to spark more robust revenue growth, touts the product as a safer option that will also help cut costs. That's a crucial selling point considering insurers are more likely these days to cover something that not only treats patients but also adds value to the system.

Regulators signed off on the company's Promus Premier Everolimus-Eluting Platinum Chromium Coronary Stent System, a durable-polymer drug-eluting stent designed to hit more challenging coronary artery disease lesions, in part through the use of a dual-layer balloon and special catheter. In the stent world, size means everything these days, and so the Promus Premier also has "a matrix" of 94 different size options of various diameters and lengths. More sizes open the door to a bigger pool of potential patients, and Boston Scientific has everything to gain in terms of new revenue by providing those choices.

A CE mark for the stent system came through in February 2013.

Boston Scientific's Promus Premier PLATINUM clinical trial compared the stent system to Abbott Laboratories' ($ABT) Xience V stent, and Abbott came out lacking. According to Boston Scientific, its own stent line was safer and more effective, and reduced bailout stenting in comparison, saving an average of $116 per procedure.

Boston Scientific's rollout could have happened much differently or not at all. That's because OrbusNeich had sued Boston Scientific alleging patent violations for many of its stents including Promus Premier and its massive-selling Promus Element. OrbusNeich was in it to win, pursuing legal action in Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, the U.K. and the U.S. In September, both companies issued a joint statement announcing that all stent-related suits had been settled, and that Boston Scientific had agreed to a one-time payment as part of their deal.

For Boston Scientific, new products will also be a key part of its evolving effort to restore more robust revenue growth. The company's 2013 third quarter produced flat revenue, drastically reduced net losses and broader sales gains, but executives also said they will eliminate as many as 1,500 jobs in another restructuring move to free up funding for more product development.

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