Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is mulling a move into the market for heart pumps and heart valves, for the right price, according to CFO Dominic Caruso.
Three months ago, J&J said it planned to ditch the coronary stent business by the end of this year. As it looks to re-shape its med-tech portfolio (adding Swiss orthopedic device maker Synthes Inc. in a $21 billion deal earlier this summer), the cardiac device market is evidently a particularly attractive sector.
That could make targets of heart pump makers such as Abiomed Inc. (NSDQ:ABMD) and Thoratec Corp. (NSDQ:THOR) – and particularly Edwards Lifesciences (NSDQ:EW), which is leading the race to bring the first catheter-delivered replacement aortic valve to the U.S. market.
“Both [technologies] are interesting. We are interested in looking at them,” Caruso told investors at the Morgan Stanley Global Health Conference in New York today. “Unfortunately they are overvalued today.”
In June, Johnson & Johnson announced its plan to get out of the drug-eluting stent market, a decision Caruso attributed to the slide of the stent market to a “commodity business” and the resultant price wars with Abbott Laboratories (NSDQ:ABT), Boston Scientific (NSDQ:BSX) and Medtronic (NSDQ:MDT).
Caruso also said the Synthes deal is likely to close during the first half of next year.