Day 1 at EuroPCR was all about bioresorbable vascular scaffolds (BVS) in the interventional cardiology space as Elixir Medical rolled out the clinical results of the DESolve trial. Receiving CE mark approval last week, Elixir Medical's entrance into the BVS market surely signifies a changing of the guard in how we view stents and stent technology going forward.
Or does it?
You see, while Abbott and Elixir battle to gain adoption of their BVS products over 2nd-generation drug-eluting stents (DES), some have been quick to pose the question: is BVS a solution to a problem or a solution looking for a problem?
While no one disputes the theory that leaving nothing inside the body is better in principle, there simply have been too few clinical trials that address the long-term effects of implanting these novel devices.To put it into perspective, the EuroPCR panel cited the fact that we currently have approximately 1,000 hours of BVS clinical data worldwide compared with 40 million hours of DES clinical data a staggering statistic, and one that certainly has to be sobering for Abbott and Elixir.
In saying all of that, the panel was nearly unanimous when asked about the future of BVS in 10 to 15 years: 'workhorse stent', '50/50 with DES', and '75% usage' were all remarks made by some of the most respected cardiologists. While much remains unclear in regards to the path forward, one thing is for certain: BVS is coming sooner rather than later. Competitors, take note.