Abbott, St. Jude ink cardiac co-promotion deal

Abbott ($ABT) and St. Jude Medial ($STJ) are expanding an arrangement that enables them to jointly promote each other's stents, defibrillators and other cardiac-related devices, imaging and diagnostic tech.

Neither side is disclosing financial terms, but the agreement builds on an existing co-promotional deal in place since 2008. And the goal here, from each company's perspective, is exclusivity in a crowded cardiac marketplace with a combination of related implant and diagnostic products.

Lance Scott of Abbott Vascular says the deal helps his company become "the only stent manufacturer" to offer both the Xience family of stents and imaging products to identify blood vessels in need of treatment. St. Jude, in turn, gains the stent option to combine with its cardiac rhythm management and other related products. The company also gets a chance to move beyond its controversial challenge of a recent study published in the journal HeartRhythm that concluded that its Riata defibrillator leads, which are no longer on the market, caused more deaths than Medtronic's ($MDT) Quattro Secure offering.

"Choice Alliance," as the duo has dubbed their deal, allows the companies to co-promote each other's cardiac-related devices and diagnostic tech when developing contracts with hospital clients. For its part, Abbott brings such products as its Xience everolimus-eluting coronary stents to the table. St. Jude's side of the deal covers devices including its ablation catheters, pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, leads and optical coherence tomography imaging products. Separately, Abbott will distribute St. Jude's Ilumien imaging system and RadiAnalyzer Xpress measurement system in the U.S.

- here's the release

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