Stent startup under scrutiny

Potential conflicts of interest appear to abound for Conor Medsystems Inc., which is hoping to take a chunk of the stent market from big boys like Johnson & Johnson and Boston Scientific Corp. According to an article in BusinessWeek"

    Yet Conor's technology is difficult to assess, in part because some doctors helping to evaluate the devices have received stock options from the company. Among the 14 doctors who sit on Conor's scientific advisory board and are participating in clinical trials of its stent, three received consulting fees and five have received options, according to documents obtained by BusinessWeek...

    Columbia, Stanford, and Scripps say that their doctors who are affiliated with Conor have not violated any rules, and Conor also says that it has done nothing improper. Company execs say they paid doctors for their expertise with options since, as a small startup, Conor had little cash.

    It's difficult to specify the value of compensation that each doctor receives because Conor does not release that data. In their disclosures made to medical conferences, doctors must reveal the type of compensation they receive, such as stock ownership, but not its value.

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