|J&J leaving Heart Stent Business|
|By Staff and Wire Reports|
|Wednesday, 15 June 2011 19:17|
Due to safety concerns and fierce competition, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) will stop selling drug-coated heart stents by the end of the year. It will continue selling its bare metal stents.
J&J said it would end development of its Nevo heart stent and stop making its Cypher stent, leaving the field wideopen for competitors like Abbott Laboratories Inc (NYSE:ABT), Boston Scientific Corp. (NYSE:BSX) and Medtronic Inc. (NYSE:MDT).
In 2003, Cypher, introduced the first stent that released a drug designed to prevent re-clogging of arteries after being implanted in patients, which was a common issue with earlier bare-metal stents. But there is concern over Cypher and other drug-coated stents which could cause dangerous blood clots months or years after being implanted in heart arteries.
J&J shares fell 1.5 percent to $66.08 in afternoon trading. Abbott shares were little changed at $51.40, and Boston Scientific shares were up 3.6 percent at $6.98. Shares of SurModics Inc (NASDAQ:SRDX), which makes the drug-delivering polymer used in Cypher, were down 17.4 percent at $10.99. The company gets royalties from sales of the stent.
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