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Abbott downsizes vascular biz

This article was originally published in The Gray Sheet

Executive Summary

Abbott says it remains optimistic about prospects for its Xience everolimus-eluting coronary stent and that internal estimates of the device's potential remain unchanged despite plans to cut 1,200 manufacturing jobs from the firm's vascular products business. Initiated Dec. 4, the reductions in force reflect overcapacity due to recent increases in efficiency, as well as market conditions that include a weak U.S. drug-eluting stent sector, the company says. Abbott will close its Galway, Ireland facility with 500 employees and downsize its Temecula, Calif. facility by 700 - going from a total of about 4,700 to 4,000. The action will be completed over the next several months, according to the company. Abbott notes that it remains on track to launch Xience in the United States in the first half of 2008 following an approval recommendation from FDA's Circulatory System Devices Panel Nov. 29; the device has been available in Europe since last fall (1"The Gray Sheet" Dec. 3, 2007, p. 3). Competitors Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific also recently initiated downsizing actions encompassing their stent businesses to help address declining sales of the devices (2"The Gray Sheet" Oct. 22, 2007, p. 6)

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