Boston Scientific won another round in the fierce battle over the drug-eluting stent market. The U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's decision denying a motion by its rival Cordis Corp. seeking a preliminary injunction against the Taxus stent on the basis that it infringes on Cordis' patent. The case is scheduled for trial in June 2005 along with a counter-punch case in which Boston Scientific accuses Cordis' Cypher of infringing on two of its patents. Boston Scientific also claims it has four other patents that the Cypher violates in a case scheduled for trial in October 2005. Cordis, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, made the only approved drug-eluting stent on the market from April 2003 until Taxus was approved in March. Cordis officials said in a prepared statement that though the request for an injunction was denied, the Court of Appeals "confirmed" that Cordis "is likely to prevail at trial on the merits of claims." Though they disagree with the decision, they look forward to the trial, officials added.
Boston Scientific also announced today that it would acquire Advanced Bionics Corp., a privately held company that makes implantable microelectronic devices, for $740 million in cash. Advanced Bionics technology includes a range of neurostimulators for treating neurological disorders, drug pumps, and -- its signature product -- cochlear implants for the profoundly deaf. The deal is expected to close within days. -- by Cinda Becker