FDA advisers back first dissolving heart stent

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal health advisers have overwhelmingly backed the safety and effectiveness of an experimental medical implant that dissolves into the body after doing its job.

A panel of Food and Drug Administration advisers voted unanimously that the Absorb heart stent is effective for treating patients with narrowing arteries. The same panel voted 9-1 in favor of the device's safety.

Abbott Laboratories has asked the FDA to approve the stent as an alternative to permanent, metal implants that have long been used to help prop open arteries that have been cleared of fatty plaque.

The vote is a nonbinding recommendation and the FDA will make its own decision on the device in coming weeks.

Absorb is made of degradable material that's designed to stay intact for a year before gradually breaking down.