Guidant ( GDT) is enrolling patients to test the safety of a new device for treating coronary-artery disease that can be absorbed into the body. During the trial, a drug-coated stent will be implanted in an artery that's been cleared of plaque, and the device will later be absorbed by vascular tissue. The study will be the first time the device has been tested in humans. Safety data on the device will be collected after six months, and patients will be checked again in five years. "With patients receiving an ever-increasing number of coronary stents in more challenging vessel anatomies, we need clinical solutions that reduce the amount of permanent metallic-stent platforms being implanted, and provide for increased flexibility in monitoring and treating patients over an extended period of time," said Dr. John Ormiston, one of the head researchers in the trial. The technology that's being tested was developed by Bioabsorbable Vascular Solutions, a subsidiary of Guidant's vascular intervention group. According to Boston Scientific's ( BSX)
agreement to acquire Guidant , the medical-device makers are planning to sell Guidant's vascular business to Abbott ( ABT).