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Boston Scientific Updates Stent Sales

The company says it sold $78 million worth of its Taxus product in the first two weeks of May.

Boston Scientific

(BSX) - Get Boston Scientific Corporation Report

Tuesday said that it had sold $78 million worth of its Taxus drug-coated stents in the United States between May 1 and May 14. The stents help improve blood flow in arteries that have been cleared of fatty deposits.

Boston Scientific is competing with the Cypher drug-coated stent made by

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report

. Taxus reached the U.S. market in early March, while Cypher has been sold in the U.S. since April 2003.

During the first quarter of 2004, U.S. sales of the Taxus drug-coated stent, made by Boston Scientific totaled $98 million. Taxus was launched March 4.

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Also during the first quarter, U.S. sales of the Cypher stent, made by

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Johnson & Johnson Report

, totaled $432 million.

Boston Scientific estimates that the adoption rate for all drug-coated stents in the U.S. is 75%, which means these devices are quickly replacing traditional uncoated stents, also known as bare metal stents.

Stents are wire mesh tubes that are inserted into arteries after patients have undergone angioplasty, a procedure that unclogs plaque from the arteries. Traditional stents reduce the reclogging rates in arteries. However, drug-coated stents -- which periodically release medicine -- have produced superior results in preventing the reclogging of arteries.

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