FDA approves Medtronic's drug-coated stent
Medtronic stock rises on FDA approval of drug-coated Endeavor stent.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Medtronic said on Friday that the Food and Drug Administration approved its drug-coated stent Endeavor.
Medtronic's (MDT, Fortune 500) stock rose more than 3% on the news. The company said it will launch the product into the U.S. market "immediately."
"We will initiate shipments today," said Scott Ward, president of Medtronic's cardiovascular business. He said the first stent procedures would happen on Monday.
The approval was not entirely expected, as drug-coated stents have come under FDA scrutiny over reports that they might cause blood clots. But this potentially dangerous side effect has not been proven.
The Endeavor will compete directly with two drug-coated stents that are already on the market: Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ, Fortune 500) Cypher and Boston Scientific's (BSX, Fortune 500) Taxus.
Also, Abbott Labs (ABT, Fortune 500) is awaiting an FDA decision for its drug-coated stent, called Xience.
The drug-coated mesh wire stents have been available in the United States since 2003. They are used to prop over arteries during, and after, angioplasty procedures. The older model of bare metal stents is still available.