Bio-Engineered Stents

Cardiologists focus on stents

By Clive Cookson
Published: September 7 2007 03:00 | Last updated: September 7 2007 03:00
The main issue at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Vienna this week was the safety of stents, tiny wire-mesh tubes used to prop open clogged arteries in heart patients. Debate raged about the safety of “drug-eluting stents”, which leak out drugs intended to help keep the vessels open but which are associated with serious side-effects.
Some heart specialists are going back to the original “bare metal” stents. But Robbert de Winter, a senior cardiologist at the University of Amsterdam’s Academic Medical Centre, told the congress there was another alternative: bio-engineered stents that use biology rather than drugs to promote healing of the arteries.
Dr de Winter has been studying the effectiveness of the Genous bio-stents made by OrbusNeich, a medical technology company based in Hong Kong. These are coated with an antibody that captures the patient’s own endothelial progenitor cells, which circulate in the bloodstream and are involved in repairing blood vessels. The cells cover the stent, protecting against clotting and clogging of the artery. “Genous appears to have the same efficacy as drug-eluting stents but a better safety profile,” he said.
“This is an important finding in that physicians are becoming reluctant to burden their patients with the cost and compliance issues associated with drug-eluting stents and their extensive [drug] therapy requirements. “


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