U.S. regulators cleared the way for

Johnson & Johnson

(JNJ) - Get Report

to begin selling its drug-coated stent, a device intended to help keep arteries from reclogging after surgery.

The stent is expected to greatly improve the results of cardiovascular procedures. The approval by the

Food and Drug Administration

is also seen as vital for Johnson & Johnson's growth projections.

Stents are minuscule springs that are inserted into arteries that have been opened by angioplasty. One of the most common failures of this procedure is the reblockage of the arteries by the formation of scar tissue in postsurgery patients. The new stent is coated with a drug that reduces the incidence of reclogging by more than 90%.

Although the device is expected to cost three times as much as regular stents, it would make additional procedures unnecessary.

The device would give the company a temporary monopoly in the U.S. market, as competitors such as

Boston Scientific

(BSX) - Get Report

and

Medtronic

(MDT) - Get Report

scramble to get their products approved.

Shares of J&J gained 1.2% to end at $57.49 Thursday.