Medtronic Strikes Again, This Time With AVE
Medtronic has acquired Arterial Vascular Engineering Inc., capping a string of large, impressive deals that should help build major businesses in important new areas. With the AVE deal, Medtronic has in the last year alone spent almost $8 billlion to acquire five companies.
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While the greater efficacy of drug-eluting stents (DES) compared to bare-metal stents is widely accepted, over the past year, data has continued to build showing that first-generation DES also have a higher late-stage in-stent thrombosis risk, a complication that can cause death 30% of the time, according to some estimates. The findings of these studies had some physicians at this year's World Congress of Cardiology calling for "an immediate halt to DES overuse." However, most conceded that additional randomized trials will be needed to fully understand the potential risks associated with these devices.
Scott Ward, head of Medtronic Vascular, talks about rebuilding this business with, without and beyond drug-eluting stents, while being third in a blockbuster market.
At a time when the US industry is undergoing perhaps its most serious crisis of leadership and confidence, it was appropriate that Bill George, former chairman and CEO of Medtronic was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award at this year's Phoenix Medical Device and Diagnostic conference for CEOs, sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Versant Ventures, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, and Windhover Information. Honoring Bill George at this particular time is propitious because George has spent his career promoting the importance of individual values and responsibility in corporate leadership, and has just published "Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value," a book that defines the qualities he considers essential attributes for corporate leaders to successfully manage companies built to deliver long-term value.