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Guidant to buy out Cook Group for $3bn in stock

Cardiovascular device maker Guidant agreed to buy privately held Cook Group in deal valued at up to $3bn in stock, making good on a vow to stay in the race for drug-coated stents.

The deal, which subject to a number of legal and clinical hurdles, would give Guidant access to Cook’s drug-coated stent tchnology, an experimental procedure in which tiny wire-mesh tubes coated with drugs are implanted to keep arteries from clogging.

Doctors expect drug-coated stents to revolutionise the treatment of coronary artery disease by eliminating the build-up of scar tissue that often results from conventional stent procedures. The deal is especially important to Guidant, which earlier this year halted its own inhouse drug-coated stent programme when the drug compound it was testing proved ineffective.

Rival device maker Boston Scientific contested a distribution deal that gave Guidant access to the drug coating paclitaxel which Cook had co-licensed from Angiotech Pharmaceuticals. A judge in June ruled in favour of Boston Scientific. But Guidant vowed it would stay in the race to develop drug-coated stents, which are expected to double the current stent market to $3bn in ‘03.





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