Updated: November 6, 2012 6:06AM
ABBOTT PARK — Abbott Laboratories said its Absorb drug-eluting bioresorbable vascular device is now widely available across Europe and parts of Asia Pacific and Latin America.
Absorb is a first-of-its-kind device for the treatment of coronary artery disease, the company said. It works by restoring blood flow to the heart similar to a metallic stent, but then dissolves into the body, leaving behind a treated vessel that may resume more natural function and movement because it is free of a permanent metallic stent.
Absorb, which took 10 years to develop, is made of polylactide, a naturally dissolvable material that is commonly used in medical implants such as dissolving sutures. The device, similar to a small mesh tube, is designed to open a blocked heart vessel and restore blood flow to the heart. Absorb is referred to as a scaffold to indicate that it is a temporary structure, unlike a stent, which is a permanent implant.
Abbott said the international launch of Absorb is supported by a clinical trial program that encompasses five studies in more than 20 countries around the world. Study data indicate that Absorb performs similar to a best-in-class drug-eluting stent.
Absorb is neither approved nor authorized for sale and currently is in development with no regulatory status in the United States.
“We are proud to be the first company to commercialize a drug eluting bioresorbable vascular scaffold, which has the potential to revolutionize the way physicians treat their patients with coronary artery disease,” said John Capek, Abbott executive vice president-medical devices.