Since its founding in 1997, AST has been developing stent and stent delivery systems specifically designed to address the unique anatomical needs of coronary artery disease in bifurcated vessels. A significant percentage of coronary artery disease -- as much as 30 percent -- occurs when a single vessel branches -- or bifurcates -- into two vessels. Bifurcations have been difficult to treat with conventional stents since those stents are designed to support a single cylinder, not a cylinder with an offshoot in the middle. Interventional cardiologists have tried a number of techniques to modify existing stents in an effort to get them to conform to the anatomy of a bifurcation. Historically, the outcomes for treating bifurcations -- with bare-metal and drug-eluting stents -- have been less successful than those for standard lesions.
AST has experimented with several different stent designs and over time has developed a design called the Petal™. This design incorporates stent features at both ends with the Petal feature in the middle. The Petal bifurcation stent is designed to expand into the side branch, permitting blood to flow into both branches of the bifurcation and providing support at the branch. When combined with Boston Scientific's paclitaxel-eluting stent technology (the TAXUS™ paclitaxel-eluting coronary stent system), the Petal device will also deliver drugs to the bifurcated vessel, which should also improve outcomes.
"Bifurcation disease is one of the last significant unaddressed challenges for interventional cardiologists," said Maurice Buchbinder, M.D., Director of the Foundation for Cardiovascular Medicine at Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, California. "Since traditional and even drug-eluting stents have fallen short for these patients, bifurcation disease remains one of the primary reasons patients are still referred to open heart surgery. If our initial studies are any indication, the Petal device will dramatically improve outcomes for patients with disease in bifurcated vessels."
Boston Scientific is a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices whose products are used in a broad range of interventional medical specialties. For more information, please visit: www.bostonscientific.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. The Company wishes to caution the reader of this press release that actual results may differ from those discussed in the forward looking statements and may be adversely affected by, among other things, risks associated with new product development and commercialization, clinical trials, intellectual property, regulatory approvals, competitive offerings, integration of acquired companies, the Company's overall business strategy, and other factors described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.