Rob Black's Healthcare Market Roundup

by: Rob Black

Boston Scientific Corp (NYSE: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 (NASDAQ: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 (NYSE:VAR).

AstraZeneca (NYSE: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 (NYSE: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.