FDA approves Abbott's fully dissolving heart stent

The Food and Drug Administration approved Abbott Laboratories' bioresorbable heart stent to treat patients with coronary artery disease.

The stent, called Absorb, releases everolimus, a drug that combats the formation of scar tissue to prevent the artery from narrowing again, according to the FDA.

Unlike traditional stents made of metal, the new stent is made out of a naturally dissolving material and disappears completely in about three years.

"No metal means the treated artery can pulse and flex naturally as demands on the heart change with everyday activities. No metal may also reduce the potential of future blockages that occur with permanent metallic stents and allows easier access to other treatment options should they prove necessary in the patient's future," said Gregg W. Stone, MD, of Columbia University Medical Center in New York and lead researcher for Absorb's clinical trials.

The Abbott Park, Ill.-based company will offer the stent in hospitals across the U.S., starting with the interventional cardiology centers involved in Absorb's clinical trials.

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