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Abbott Laboratories (ABT - Analyst Report) recently announced that its Absorb Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS) device has moved into a phase III study, ABSORB III, in the US.

The randomized, controlled study will enroll 2,250 patients and will compare Absorb BVS’s performance to the company's Xience drug eluting stents. We note that Absorb is available in Europe and some Latin American and Asia Pacific nations. ABSORB III data would be used to support regulatory filings in the US.

We note that Abbott recently gained US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its Xience Xpedition everolimus eluting coronary stent system. Xience Xpedition will be launched immediately in the US.

Abbott sells coronary, endovascular, structural heart, vessel closure and other medical device products on a worldwide basis through its vascular products segment. The company is consistently working on boosting its vascular products portfolio and expects to launch several products in the next five years.

Abbott recently separated its research-based pharmaceuticals business by creating a new company – AbbVie (ABBV - Analyst Report). The decision to spin off the business was taken back in October 2011 when Abbott decided to separate its business into two publicly traded companies – one in diversified medical products and the other in research-based pharmaceuticals.

Our Recommendation

We are positive on the split which should allow the two separate entities to perform in a more focused manner.
We currently have a Neutral recommendation on Abbott Laboratories. The stock carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Right now, Repligen Corporation (RGEN - Snapshot Report) looks attractive with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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