CardioTech International (Woburn, Massachusetts) said it would complete the acquisition of Gish Biomedical (Rancho Santa Margarita, California) by April 7. The value of the stock-for-stock deal has not been disclosed. Gish shares will be delisted from Nasdaq after the conclusion of the deal, and CardioTech will issue up to 4.8 million shares of its common stock to Gish shareholders. Upon the exchange of CardioTech shares for Gish shares, CardioTech will have about 14 million common shares outstanding. The shares issued to Gish shareholders will represent about 35% of the outstanding CardioTech common stock after the merger. CardioTech said the addition of Gish's products used in surgical procedures gives it "a leadership presence in the ... open-heart surgery field and advances its strategy of expanding the breadth of FDA-cleared products it provides to hospitals." It said the Gish cleanroom facility, 40 times larger than its own, "will provide CardioTech the resources necessary to expand the manufacturing of new medical devices." Gish focuses on products used in open-heart surgery, vascular access and orthopedic surgery. CardioTech is developing polyurethane-based vascular graft systems, produces medical grade polyurethanes for use in implantable medical devices and wound dressings, and manufactures medical devices on an OEM basis.

Guidant (Indianapolis, Indiana) last month signed a definitive agreement to buy certain assets of Biosensors International's (Singapore) everolimus-coated stent program for $20 million in cash, plus potential milestone payments and royalties. Guidant previously acquired an exclusive worldwide license for the drug evirolimus from Novartis Pharma AG (Basel, Switzerland) for use in drug-coated stents, and now it will have a second platform technology to back up its internal program. Guidant said the acquisition of the Biosensors technology, together with results from a recent clinical trial, could allow it to accelerate commercialization of an evirolimus-coated stent outside the U.S. Under the agreement, Guidant gets an exclusive license to Biosensors' bioabsorbable polymer formulation technology in evirolimus-coated stents, as well as a nonexclusive license to use the technology with other drugs in drug-coated stents. It also will have the option to make and commercialize the Biosensors evirolimus-coated Challenge stent that has been used in that company's trials. Guidant also said it entered into a definitive agreement to acquire X Technologies (Tustin, California/Yavne, Israel), a privately held company that manufactures the FX miniRAIL, a coronary device for the treatment of de novo lesions and in-stent restenosis.