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After apparently exhausting every other means of obtaining access to the drug it needs to enter the drug-eluting stent market as quickly as possible, Guidant's decision to acquire Cook Group for $3 billion hinges on whether a Federal judge agrees with Guidant's argument that the deal doesn't result in an ownership change of the Cook Group's Cook Inc. subsidiary.
Invatec is the product of a father's natural technical skill and love of using technology to solve problems, passed on to his son and daughter. Initially based out of the Venturelli family's home, Invatec started by building custom products for interventional cardiologists in Germany and Italy, and then became an OEM supplier to larger companies. The company initially relied on the Venturellis' (father's and son's) engineering expertise to develop superior technology, while maintaining the responsiveness to physicians' demands that first brought the company to physicians' attention. The goal: to develop a broad-based interventional vascular products business globally under the Invatec name. Already selling products throughout Europe and Asia, the company is biding its time before entering the US market. Invatec's initial product lines include interventional cardiology catheters and balloons, an embolic protection system designed for carotid angioplasty, and a line of interventional peripheral vascular products. The company has also developed a radio frequency ablation system aimed at treating a variety of tumors. To this point, Invatec has largely operated beneath the radar screens of major cardiovascular device companies, which tend to see the company primarily as an OEM supplier. Invatec's efforts to launch a wide range of branded products will bring the company head-to-head with large companies in an already-consolidated market in which superior technology, while essential, is often not enough to carry the day on its own.
At this year's American College of Cardiology meeting, radiation pioneer Novoste squeezed in at the last minute with data from its START clinical trial proving the safety and efficacy of radiation in treating in-stent restenosis. Novoste's path to this promising opportunity has been long and costly and fraught with regulatory challenges, epitomized by a European launch that, company officials say, was misunderstood by most industry observers. To be sure, radiation still has its skeptics and critics, but Novoste and its supporters believe that the START data underscores that beta radiation represents the best hope for future restenosis treatments. The real significance of the START data isn't that it proves that radiation works--it's that, for now, the future debate about radiation is likely to be defined by Novoste.
After Boston Scientific's successful public offering, Boston's stock price was up $46.50 on July 16, 1999, suggesting investors are growing confident that Boston Scientific can rejoin the ranks as one of the leading big-cap device companies in terms of earnings and growth. For non-investors, the public offering raises another question: will Boston Scientific also return to form as one of the device industry's most aggressive acquirers of other companies?
- Medical Devices