This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

The Super Bowl of Stents

Get ready for the next drug-coated stent showdown, which starts Sunday at the annual American College of Cardiology conference in Orlando, Fla.

The main event will be the results of a head-to-head -- or artery-to-artery -- test comparing the Cypher stent from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) versus the Taxus stent from Boston Scientific (BSX).

Another big attraction features research comparing Medtronic's (MDT) experimental Endeavor drug-coated stent with an uncoated Medtronic stent.

The stakes are big for all three companies. J&J hopes a company-financed study will help convince cardiologists to switch to Cypher from Taxus, which entered the market in March 2004, 11 months after Cypher.

Boston Scientific has shrugged off a stent recall this summer to retain its dominant position. The companies don't agree on market-share figures, but roughly speaking, Taxus has about a 2-to-1 edge.

Medtronic is hoping that its Endeavor test will provide enough compelling information to gain an accelerated review by the Food and Drug Administration. To many analysts, these results will indicate whether the company's stent enters the U.S. market in 2006 or 2007.

Every minute counts because Guidant (GDT), which is being acquired by J&J, and Abbott Laboratories (ABT) also are working on drug-coated stents.

Drug-coated stents are meshlike metal tubes inserted into arteries after vessel-clogging plaque has been removed. The stents facilitate blood flow and reduce the risk of heart attack. The drug-coated stents, also known as drug-eluting stents, release chemicals into the arteries periodically to reduce the risk of arteries reclogging. Uncoated stents reduce the reclogging risk, too, but the drug-coated devices do a better job.

The Cypher versus Taxus performance will be unveiled via a J&J-sponsored test nicknamed Reality. "Even if the data revealed slightly more favorable, non-significant trends for Cypher, the difference ... is likely not enough to induce a material shift away from Taxus use," said a recent research report from Goldman Sachs. And if Cypher's results appeared slightly better, "Taxus use is likely to be dictated more so by the delivery/flexibility" of the Taxus delivery system.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs