Angiotech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a global specialty pharmaceutical and medical device company, reported that its corporate partner, Boston Scientific Corporation has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its second-generation TAXUS(R) Liberté(R) Paclitaxel-Eluting Coronary Stent System.

Boston Scientific plans to launch the TAXUS Liberté stent early next month in the United States, following completion of the introduction of its TAXUS(R) Expresss(2)(TM) Atom(TM) Paclitaxel-Eluting Coronary Stent System, which was approved by the FDA last month. The TAXUS Liberté stent was launched in Europe and other international markets in 2005.

"We believe the approval of TAXUS Liberté is a clear indication that we have made significant progress toward resolving the issues related to the Corporate Warning Letter," said Jim Tobin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boston Scientific.

"The US approvals of the TAXUS Liberté and Atom represent the second and third generation of paclitaxel-eluting coronary stents to be launched by Boston Scientific – at a time when many others are still using first-generation technology. Over this time, the paclitaxel platform has shown tremendous efficacy and longevity in the treatment of millions of patients with life-threatening heart disease, said Dr. William Hunter, President and CEO of Angiotech. "Boston Scientific continues to make progress advancing the TAXUS program and we believe it will be a mainstay of therapy for many years to come."

The TAXUS stent systems have been evaluated by the industry's most extensive randomized, controlled clinical trial program, with follow-up to five years in some cases. These trial results have been supplemented by data on more than 35,000 patients enrolled in post-approval registries. To date, approximately 4.6 million TAXUS stents have been implanted globally, making them the world's most frequently used drug-eluting stents.