MicroPort's exhibition booth seen at China Interventional Therapeutics conference in Beijing, March 18, 2012. (Photo: VCG )
The Lancet, a British medical journal, has for the first time published a study showing a Chinese-designed and made stent equal the performance of existing stents on the market.
Stents are small medical devices inserted into clogged arteries to open the passageway, allowing blood to flow freely. They are valuable tools doctors use to fight heart disease.
The study was funded by the MicroPort Scientific Corporation, a Shanghai-based company that makes the Firehawk stent.
At 21 treatment centers across Europe, more than 1,600 patients were randomly treated with either the Firehawk stent or the industry standard made by a different company. The study found no significant difference in outcomes between the two products.
"Right now, it's the leading drug eluting stent in China. Today is very exciting to show the large randomized trial for the first time for a Chinese device," said Bo Xu, one of the researchers involved in The Lancet study.
The Firehawk stent has tiny laser-etched grooves containing medication that prevents the body from rejecting the device.
"This is a fantastic workhorse stent platform now proven to be safe and effective," said Dr. Andreas Baumbach, another researcher involved in the study.
The device is currently approved for use in 36 countries and territories. The company will continue clinical trials and expects to expand into more countries soon.