Yesterday, Abbott Laboratories (ABT) received approval from Health Canada for its XIENCE V Everolimus Eluting Coronary Stent System for the treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD). The product will be launched in Canada immediately.

Coronary artery disease is a common type of heart disease in which plaque buildup narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow to the heart. This can lead to chest pain or a heart attack.

XIENCE V is a drug coated stent that is used to treat CAD by propping open a narrowed or blocked artery and releasing the drug, everolimus, in a controlled manner over time so as to help prevent the artery from getting blocked again.

XIENCE V is currently available in the United States, Europe and other international markets. Shortly after its 2008 approval in the U.S., XIENCE V became the market-leading drug-eluting stent (DES) in the U.S. Clinical trial data has been very encouraging, which has resulted in a strong launch in the U.S. as well as overseas.

XIENCE V demonstrated superiority over Boston Scientific’s (BSX) TAXUS paclitaxel-eluting coronary stent system in the primary endpoints of two randomized, pivotal phase III studies.

The product has been taking significant share from its competitors, Boston Scientific’s Taxus and Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) Cypher (sirolimus-eluting system). Going forward, XIENCE V’s launch in Japan in early 2010 could potentially add another $500 million market opportunity.

Abbott is now a major player in the drug-eluting stent (DES) market with XIENCE V in its portfolio. The company is currently working on a next-generation drug coated stent called XIENCE PRIME. PRIME is on the market in Europe, and in a large-scale clinical program called SPIRIT PRIME in the U.S. If approved, PRIME could hit the U.S. market in the first half of 2012.

Abbott’s Vascular Products segment should continue posting robust growth mainly due to the strong performance of XIENCE V.

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