Johnson & Johnson adds Shockwave Medical to its cardiovascular collection with $13.1B deal

Another year, another multibillion-dollar cardiovascular acquisition for Johnson & Johnson MedTech. The company has inked a $13.1 billion deal to bring Shockwave Medical into the fold.

J&J MedTech sees Shockwave’s pioneering portfolio of intravascular lithotripsy catheters—minimally invasive devices that use acoustic energy to shatter the hard, calcified blockages found deep within coronary and peripheral arteries—as the ticket to its 13th priority platform: one that will join its pantheon of products that each claim more than $1 billion in annual sales.

The deal follows up on 2023’s integration of the miniature heart pump maker Abiomed, a $16.6 billion buy, as well as J&J’s $400 million purchase of cardiac implant developer Laminar, aimed at reducing a person’s long-term risk of stroke linked to atrial fibrillation.

And with more than $30 billion put down for M&A in the sector within less than two years, what was previously described as its Interventional Solutions division will now be referred to solely as its Cardiovascular portfolio, the company said.

“We are energized by this deal,” J&J CEO Joaquin Duato said on a call with investors. 

“The acquisition of Shockwave, together with Abiomed and Laminar, complements Johnson & Johnson's established global leadership position in electrophysiology through Biosense Webster—all building a highly differentiated cardiovascular portfolio,” Duato said. “When the Shockwave transaction is completed, Johnson & Johnson MedTech will be a category leader in four high-growth cardiovascular segments.”

The companies said they aim to finalize the deal by the end of June, priced at $335 per share and funded by a combination of cash and debt. After that, Shockwave will operate as a subsidiary while keeping its commercial structure largely intact—a similar model to how J&J currently operates Abiomed. 

Part of that is to prepare for what’s coming down Shockwave’s R&D pipeline, which has quadrupled in size over the past two years to 27 different programs including 13 products.

The company has already collected U.S. and European approvals in coronary artery disease and peripheral artery disease, including both above and below the knee—markets that made up 80% to 90% of the deal’s total price tag, according to J&J—with more than 400,000 patients being treated since 2017 with intravascular lithotripsy, or IVL. Going forward, Shockwave has eyes set on new indications such as carotid artery disease as well as structural heart conditions.

In addition, Shockwave completed an acquisition of its own last year for Neovasc and its Reducer system, potentially the first device aimed at treating stubborn chest pain. The hourglass-shaped implant slows the flow of blood out of the heart’s coronary sinus vein, giving oxygen more time to transfer into the cardiac muscle.

“We do not have any plans to integrate our selling organizations,” said J&J MedTech Worldwide Chairman Tim Schmid. “We believe we will have more share of voice within the [cardiovascular] community, but our plan is to keep these organizations solely focused on growing the business … We have a much broader portfolio coming our way within the IVL space and we will need those dedicated resources to ensure that we can capitalize on the opportunity.”

Shockwave’s current CEO, Doug Godshall, will move into an adviser role during the transition, while Chief Commercial Officer Isaac Zacharias will become the company’s worldwide president. 

Zacharias will report to Michael Bodner, J&J’s global head of heart recovery, who also oversees Abiomed. The two companies are no strangers, at least in the hands of cardiovascular clinicians: J&J estimates that Shockwave’s IVL catheters are used in about 30% of the same procedures that employ Abiomed’s Impella pumps during high-risk percutaneous coronary interventions.

Shockwave logged a nearly 50% increase in year-over-year sales in 2023, for a total of $730.2 million across its coronary and peripheral artery disease segments. Prior to that, the company more than doubled its annual revenues two years in a row. During its last earnings report, the company forecast 25% or more growth during 2024, with revenue ultimately landing between $910 million and $930 million.

But J&J thinks it can give it a boost. “As we integrate Shockwave, we see numerous opportunities over time to accelerate distribution of these innovative technologies and reach more patients in need with an expanded treatment offering,” said Schmid, citing J&J’s international selling infrastructure and physician education capabilities. “All of this will open opportunities to penetrate new markets and expand access to these critical treatment options.”