Cordis exits DES market

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Cordis, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, will discontinue manufacturing drug-eluting stents (DES), including Cypher and Cypher Select sirolimus-eluting stents, and also will stop development of its Nevo DES line to focus on other cardiovascular therapies.

“[W]e see greater opportunities to benefit patients and grow our business in other areas of the cardiovascular device market,” said Seth Fischer, company group chair and worldwide chairman at the Bridgewater, N.J.-based Cordis.

The company said it will continue to focus on cardiovascular care through Biosense Webster, which develops cardiac diagnostic, therapeutic and mapping tools for electrophysiology, and its vascular and endovascular technology units at Cordis.

The company intends to close two manufacturing facilities: Cashel, Ireland, where the Nevo stent was to be produced, and San German, Puerto Rico, the manufacturing site for Cypher products. The company will also consolidate its research and development project teams in Fremont, Calif. Overall, the company expects to reduce 900 to 1,000 positions.

The New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson said it expects to record an after-tax restructuring charge in the range of $500 to $600 million in the second quarter of 2011 as a result of these Cordis restructuring plans. The restructuring charge will be treated as a special item, and further discussion of the financial impact of these plans will take place on its next quarterly earnings call on July 19.