The U.S. drug-eluting stent market just got a little more crowded. Medtronic
The Endeavor joins Johnson & Johnson's
Medtronic won't be competing against just the entrenched duo; it's also going up against the stents' bare-metal cousins, as well as alternative procedures like bypass surgery. The drug-oozing variety is still dealing with bad publicity from a study in 2006 that said they weren't safe (the percentage of stent procedures using drug-eluting stents is down to 62% from 88% in mid-2006). Even with the plethora of competition, now seems like a pretty good time to get in, since the drug-eluting stent market appears to be stabilizing.
Assuming the FDA stays consistent with its review timing, the three-month time frame from Medtronic's advisory panel meeting to approval means that Abbott Laboratories
I'm not sure that being a few months behind is ultimately going to hurt Abbott that much. In my opinion, it has the best clinical-trial data, so it seems that the battle will come down to whether cardiologists will pick the stent with promising clinical-trial data or the one they have real-life experience with.
That could leave Medtronic as the odd man out in the foursome. Then again, the Endeavor stent has sold well in Europe, so maybe Medtronic's sales force will endeavor here as well.
More Foolishness on the tiny mesh devices:
Fool contributor Brian Orelli, Ph.D., doesn't own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Johnson & Johnson is a selection of the Income Investor newsletter. The Fool has a disclosure policy.