April 13, 2024

A sign is posted at the Johnson & Johnson campus

Johnson & Johnson’s last major acquisition was another heart device maker, Abiomed, for $16.6 billion.
Image: Mario Tama (Getty Images)

Healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson could soon buy heart device maker Shockwave Medical, the Wall Street Journal reported. The acquisition would be its second consecutive in the space in two years.

The deal could be announced in the next few weeks, unless another suitor surfaces or if talks fall apart, sources familiar with the matter told the outlet.

“We do not comment on market rumors or speculation,” a J&J spokesperson told Quartz in an emailed statement. Shockwave also declined to comment on the report.

Still, the news sent Shockwave’s stock surging 10% during afternoon trading on Tuesday. The Santa Clara, California-based company makes medical devices that break up calcium build-ups in the heart and blood vessels.

In 2023, the company’s revenue grew 49% to $730 million, according to its most recent quarterly earnings report. Shockwave projects that its revenue in 2024 will rise another 25% to between $910 million and $930 million.

Pharma giants are scooping up treatments for heart disease

Johnson & Johnson’s last major acquisition was also in heart devices—Abiomed was added to the fold for for $16.6 billion in 2022. This new deal could rival it, as Shockwave currently has a market capitalization of $12 billion.

Deals like these are part of a larger trend in the industry where pharma giants are expanding their heart treatment businesses.

On Monday, Ozempic maker Novo Nordisk announced it was acquiring Cardior Pharmaceuticals to the tune of €1.03 billion ($1.1 billion). The Germany-based drug maker, develops therapies that target RNA to prevent and treat heart diseases. Novo Nordisk said the deal is an important step for the company to establish its presence in the sector.

And in February, Bayer purchased the European marketing rights of BridgeBio Pharma’s new heart disease drug for $310 million.

Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide accounting for nearly 20 million deaths a year, according to the World Health Organization.

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