Johnson & Johnson's Cordis Corp. agreed to distribute cardiovascular devices made by Guidant Corp., and both companies dropped pending patent litigation. Guidant also will pay $125 million to acquire an option from closely held Impulse Dynamics for implantable devices that treat heart failure. Cordis had held the option. Guidant will pay $300 million more if it decides to buy exclusive rights to the devices. Cordis will market Guidant's rapid-exchange catheters in the U.S., and the companies will grant each other access to patents on intravascular brachytherapy, which uses radiation to help prevent re-blockage of coronary arteries. Cordis and Guidant said they will resolve remaining disputes in arbitration. Shares in New Brunswick, N.J.-based Johnson & Johnson closed up $4.50 at $76.75, and Indianapolis-based Guidant fell 56 cents to close at $59.88, both on the NYSE.
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