Med tech is attracting a huge range of strategic investors right now. Healthcare is almost universally recognized as in need of rationalization--the application of technology in the effort to achieve better outcomes at lower costs. Medical devices and diagnostics, and the data that they generate, are expected to be central to achieving that goal in the coming decades.
Abbott Laboratories is seeking a new path to growth--and it's betting big that med tech is it. The company is taking on two of the largest M&A transactions in history at the same time: the more than $5.8 billion purchase of diagnostics player Alere that it announced at the start of February and the more than $25 billion buy of cardiovascular device player St. Jude Medical that was disclosed in late April.
Abbott has avoided addressing rumors that its deal with point-of-care diagnostics maker Alere is on the rocks. But according to Alere, the Illinois med tech wants out.
Abbott said last year that it wasn't interested in St. Jude, but now, the company is changing its tune. The Illinois devicemaker will shell out $25 billion for St. Jude to gain ground in the cardiovascular and neuromodulation markets.
Abbott Laboratories was cleared by a Texas federal jury of accusations it violated the False Claims Act by wrongly marketing bile duct stents in a whistleblower case that sought more than $1 billion in damages.
Abbott's Absorb bioresorbable stent took a step closer to FDA approval, winning the overwhelming backing of an FDA advisory panel of experts, who voted 9-0 (with one abstention) to recommend approval of the device based on an analysis of its risks and rewards.
Questionable data among patients with small vessels is the dominant issue at hand during the FDA panel's consideration of Abbott's Absorb bioresorbable scaffold.
Diagnostics maker Alere seemed to have closed one chapter after agreeing to sell out to Abbott last month. But some of the company's problems are coming back to haunt it as the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigates Alere's international sales practices.
Pfizer and Abbott cut production on their popular cough medicines in India last year after officials imposed new regs to fight the smuggling of opiates into Bangladesh. Now regulators have banned the products altogether, leaving Pfizer to scramble to court Monday for an order staying the action as it tries to sort out the matter.
One of the most anticipated FDA panel meetings in years will commence in Gaithersburg, MD, on March 15, that of Abbott's Absorb BVS bioresorbable stent. The stent is a paradigm-shifting device, and the data show noninferiority to Abbott's current standard-of-care Xience drug-eluting stent.