Medtronic enters stent fray with Endeavor

Medtronic's Endeavor stent
Medtronic's Endeavor stent
Medtronic won approval for its Endeavor drug-eluting stent Friday, making it the third player in a market likely to get much more competitive.

The company bills the device as a next-generation stent meeting significant unmet patient need “by providing the effectiveness of a drug-eluting stent but with a safety profile more commonly associated with a bare metal stent.”

In November, Johnson & Johnson's Cordis launched the category's first broadcast DTC, with its “Life Wide Open” TV, print and online campaign plugging its Cypher stent. J&J and Taxus maker Boston Scientific have long split the market, which has been buffeted by mixed data on the safety and efficacy of coated stents. More recent studies have backed the utility of the stents, and with Abbott seeking approval for its Xience stent, a scramble for market share should soon be underway.

Yesterday, Boston Scientific reported a $458 million loss for the fourth quarter amid continued torpor in the market for coated stents and several big-ticket charges. The firm's stock nonetheless closed up 3.9% for the day, suggesting that Wall Street has hope for stronger stent sales ahead.