Boston Scientific’s (NYSE:BSX) interim CEO Hank Kucheman still believes in the company’s ill-fated acquisition of Guidant Corp., a deal worth $26 billion that was followed by recalls, lawsuits and criminal charges.
"If the [Guidant] acquisition hadn’t happened and it had gone to J&J, one of the key franchises that we know within Boston [Scientific], the cardiology division, wouldn’t be as strong and wouldn’t have sustained its leadership in that space for a decade," Kucheman told the Boston Herald.
Guidant, which developed the recalled Ventak Prizm implantable cardiac defibrillators, was in the midst of a tug-of-war between Boston Scientific and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), eventually going to Boston Scientific after Abbott (NYSE:ABT) snapped up Guidant’s stent-making business to mollify U.S. anti-trust regulators.
Shortly after the deal closed in 2006, Boston Scientific was forced to recall tens of thousands of potentially defective Guidant pacemakers and defibrillators. The companies settled a U.S. Justice Dept. case for nearly $300 million in November 2009 and pled guilty to criminal charges in April 2010.
The company remains mired in whistleblower lawsuits related to Guidant, including a case filed by a former Boston Scientific saleswoman who claimed that her erstwhile employer wrongly terminated her when she called attention to potential off-label marketing of Guidant’s cardiac ablation devices. A federal judge gave the whistleblower the green light to pursue her claims last month.
Analysts on Abbott’s device/drug split: "Take the money and run"
Analysts at Seeking Alpha aren’t so optimistic about Abbott’s decision to split its business in 2, generally along the lines of medical devices on one side and pharmaceuticals on the other.
"Frankly, the break-up does not make sense to me. The two halves work well together," one contributor wrote. " The company’s stock price has increased about 20% since the break-up was announced, so maybe the market is applauding the idea. I say take the money and run. I would sell the company now."
Concerns included dis-synergies surrounding the now separate management of components that often go together – such as stents, to be under Abbott’s jurisdiction, and the drugs that often coat stents, which will be overseen by the new Abbvie pharma business. Read more
Analysts: Mako’s missed quarter may be bad news for Intuitive
Mako Surgical’s (NSDQ:MAKO) off quarter, in which it missed its own guidance, may mean a slide in the robot-assisted surgical devices market – a bad omen for fellow medical robot-maker Intuitive Surgical (NSDQ:ISRG), according to one analyst. Read more
Mindray Medical takes a controlling stake in Optcla
Mindray (NYSE:MR) announced an agreement to take a controlling stake in endoscope devices maker Optcla Medical. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the transaction was "non-material to Mindray’s financial statements." Read more
Amendia and Medline join forces for spine surgery
Amendia Inc. and Medline Industries announced a new strategic business alliance to join Amendia’s growing spinal surgical device business with Medline’s medical and surgical products network.
Verisante completes the beta version of its Aura skin lesion detection device
Verisante Technology (PINK:VRSEF) completed design and fabrication of a beta version of its Aura device, a non-invasive optical system that uses spectroscopy to scan and analyze skin lesions and provide near-instant diagnosis of potentially cancerous tissue.
Philips Medical signs fiber optic development deal with Luna Innovations
Philips Medical (NYSE:PHG) signed a development deal with Luna Innovations to pursue fiber-optic shape sensing in the non-robotic medical field. The pair will work together to develop devices that may provide additional 3D guidance during minimally invasive procedures. Read more
Free Skyscape medical app makes bank
Physicians Interactive hit the jackpot with its free Skyscape Medical Resources iPhone app, the only freely downloadable app on Apple’s list of top 10 grossing apps in the iTunes market.
GPOs: HealthPRO signs Navilyst for venous access and central catheter devices
Marlborough, Mass.-based Navilyst Medical signed a 3-year contract to provide central venous access devices and peripherally inserted central catheters to member of HealthPRO, effective June 1. Read more
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