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FDA: Stent safer than Taxus

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Bloomberg News / November 28, 2007

NEW YORK - Abbott Laboratories' drug-coated Xience stent is effective and safer than older devices to prop open clogged arteries, US regulators said.

After two years, patients with Xience were half as likely to have a heart attack, repeat surgery, or die than those using the US best-seller, Boston Scientific Corp.'s Taxus, a Food and Drug Administration staff report posted on the agency website said. The staff also urged lengthier studies be done after Xience is approved to ensure it doesn't cause fatal blood clots.

Abbott rose the most in more than three months in New York trading. The Abbott Park, Ill., company is seeking to dominate a US market for drug-coated stents that shrank 40 percent this year, to about $2 billion, on concern the devices carry more risk for clots than bare-metal stents. An FDA panel meets tomorrow to recommend whether Xience should be approved. The FDA generally follows the recommendations of its advisory panels.

Abbott shares rose $1.66 to $55.91 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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