Coronary stent makers are positioning themselves for the expected Food and Drug Administration approval of a second drug-eluting stent for the U.S. market.
Johnson & Johnson's Cordis Corp., which has had an exclusive on the U.S. market for drug-eluting stents since receiving FDA approval last April, said it has entered a strategic alliance with Guidant Corp. for the co-promotion of drug-eluting stents and the development of new technology in stent delivery systems.
The agreement also settles all outstanding patent disputes between the companies. It arrives four days after Guidant announced a similar patent settlement with Boston Scientific.
Meanwhile, Boston Scientific, awaiting FDA approval of its Taxus drug-eluting stent, told analysts and investors that it expects its overall net sales to more than double over the next 24 months from $3.5 billion in 2003. The company said it is aiming for a 70% share of the U.S. stent market.