OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of stent based methotrexate delivery on neointimal hyperplasia. METHODS: Stainless steel coronary stents and biological polymer coated (SAE) stents were randomly implanted in coronary arteries of pigs with a stent to artery ratio of 1.1:1. The pigs were killed after five days (10 stents) or four weeks (20 stents). Second, stainless steel coronary stents were dip coated in a 10 mg/ml methotrexate-SAE polymer solution, resulting in a total load of 150 microg methotrexate/stent. SAE coated stents and methotrexate loaded stents were randomly implanted in porcine coronary arteries with a stent to artery ratio of 1.2:1 and followed up to four weeks. RESULTS: SAE coated stents and bare stents elicited a similar tissue response at five days. At four weeks, neointimal hyperplasia induced by the coated stents was less pronounced than with the bare stents (1.32 (0.66) v 1.73 (0.93) mm2, p > 0.05). In vitro drug release studies showed that 50% of the methotrexate was released in 24 hours, and all drug was released within four weeks. No impact on vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation or viability was observed in in vitro cell cultures. At four weeks the arteries with methotrexate loaded stents had decreased peristrut inflammation and neointimal hyperplasia (1.22 (0.34) v 2.25 (1.28) mm2, p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: SAE coating had an excellent biocompatibility with vascular tissue. Stent based delivery of methotrexate in the SAE coating effectively reduced neointimal hyperplasia in a porcine coronary stent model, potentially due to reduced peristrut inflammation.