Agilent Technologies (Palo Alto, California) completed the $1.7 billion sale of its Healthcare Solutions Group (HSG; Andover, Massachusetts) to Royal Philips Electronics (Amsterdam, the Netherlands), whose Philips Medical Systems unit is a supplier of diagnostic imaging systems and related services worldwide, including X-ray, magnetic resonance, computed tomography, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, information management and consultancy services. With the acquisition of Agilent's health care unit, the company now adds to its portfolio cardiovascular ultrasound imaging, patient monitoring, electrocardiography, resuscitation products and e-care business.

Boston Scientific (Natick, Massachusetts) completed its $115 million acquisition of Cardiac Pathways (Sunnyvale, California). Cardiac Pathways makes minimally invasive systems used by electrophysiologists to diagnose and treat cardiac tachyarrhythmias. Its products consist principally of systems for performing ablation treatment (a nonsurgical, minimally invasive technique for neutralizing heart tissue responsible for starting or maintaining a tachyarrhythmia) and for diagnostic mapping (locating the source of the tachyarrhythmia within the heart). Boston Scientific products are used in a broad range of interventional medical specialties. In another deal, Boston Scientific reported making an investment in Endotex Interventional Systems (Cupertino, California) and negotiating an exclusive option to purchase the company, which specializes in carotid stent technology. Financial details concerning these agreement were not released, and Boston Scientific did not disclose a timeframe for the possible purchase of Endotex. But John Maroney, CEO of Endotex, said, "We have long felt that [Boston Scientific] would be an ideal match for Endotex, and we are enthusiastic about moving forward with our relationship." Endotex focuses on making less-invasive systems for vascular procedures, with focus on the Nexstent, a self-expanding carotid stent made of nitinol. The companies will collaborate in the near term on clinical trials that will combine the Endotex carotid stent, the Exstent, with Boston Scientific's Filterwire embolic protection device. The Filterwire device is used to capture embolic material dislodged during cardiovascular interventions and moving to the heart or brain to cause heart attack or stroke. Boston Scientific's related carotid stenting technology is the Carotid Monorail Wallstent device, made of a cobalt-chromium alloy. The Wallstent has the CE mark and is currently in clinical trials in the U.S. for patients with carotid artery narrowing who are at high surgical risk.