The Food and Drug Administration gave Boston Scientific Corp.'s Taxus drug-eluting stent the go-ahead for U.S. marketing, creating the first competitor in the United States to Johnson & Johnson's Cypher stent, approved last April.
Boston Scientific set the Taxus list price at $2,950 per stent -- $245 less than the $3,195 list price of J&J's Cypher stent.
Boston Scientific said it is prepared to launch the product in the United States immediately and has ample inventory in all sizes. The company boasts that Taxus is the market leader in Europe and other foreign markets, where it has been selling since February 2003.
Boston Scientific's goal is to have 70% of the U.S. market within 70 days, said David Lothson, managing director at UBS Investment Research. Lothson said he expects Taxus to rapidly become the U.S. market leader based on its design and clinical trial data and projected that U.S. Taxus sales would hit $1.6 billion this year and $2.3 billion in 2005.