Monday, November 06, 2006

ABSORB - Study of bioabsorbable DES

Many companies have been experimenting with bioabsorbable DES, hoping that when the DES is implanted, it will over the next few weeks, melt away (together with the bioabsorbable polymer coating). After a few months, there is no more stent, no more polymer at the site of implantation, no drug left and hopefully, no thrombosis.

At TCT 2006, we saw the preliminary results of the "ABSORB " study, which was the First-in-Man experience of a bioabsorbable DES. Many of us who have been long in the angioplasty arena remember the "good old days" when we saw the results of the early bioabsorbable bare metal stents (the magnesium alloy stents), the problem with stent recoil and also the high restenosis rates. So when we heard and saw the results of the ABSORB study, it was not surprising to see that Dr Omiston and colleagues had problems with stent recoil and stent dissection (probably due to aggressive high pressure balloon inflation to eradicate the recoil).

They studied 26 patients and presented their 30days results. At 30 days, we do not expect to see restenosis, and obviously no acute, or subacute stent thrombosis. The ABSORB study, as I see it, is very much a safety study, showing that bioabsorbable DES is safe to use, although the less than 100% clinical success may raise questions. Nontheless, a good effort by Abbott Vascular and Dr Omiston and team, but we surely need more fine-tuning and impprovements, before it is ready for prime time. I don't think any of us will run out and buy Abbott Vascular shares just yet.

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