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Boston Scientific Corp (BSX) announced the closing of the Guidant acquisition on April 21, 2006, to form the largest global CV device manufacturer. The $27 billion transaction likely will drive 2006 sales growth to 36% from our previous 1% est. with sales growth slowing to 9.8% by 2009. Accompanying the sales growth is significant dilution of almost 50% in 2006.

Bank of America upgraded Gilead Sciences (GILD) to Buy.

Two major cancer centers in Sweden are planning to initiate image guided radiation therapy treatments for their patients using equipment from Varian Medical Systems (VAR).

AstraZeneca (AZN) is in talks to buy Britain's biggest biotechnology company, Cambridge Antibody Technology Group (CATG), in its latest move to restock a depleted development pipeline for new drugs. The deal could value CAT at about 600 million pounds ($1.13 billion). That would be a 40% premium.

CAT provided technology used in Abbott Laboratories (ABT) blockbuster arthritis drug Humira. CAT specializes in making drugs from antibodies, the body's natural immune defenses, which generally have fewer side-effects than conventional chemistry-based medicines. Major pharmaceutical firms are battling to strengthen their ability to make so-called biological drugs.

Source: Rob Black's Healthcare Market Roundup