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Guidant Completes Acquisition of Bioabsorbable Stent Company

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. & SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 20, 2004--Guidant Corporation (NYSE:GDT - News) today announced the $6 million purchase of the remaining stake in a company developing fully bioabsorbable drug eluting stent platforms. These new stents in development are designed to be fully absorbed by vascular tissue following the restoration of blood flow in patients with coronary artery disease. The initial 51 percent stake was acquired for $10 million in the first quarter of 2003. Under the terms of the original agreement, Guidant will also make payments upon the achievement of certain regulatory milestones. Guidant has completed a 28-day animal study of a bioabsorbable drug eluting stent platform, providing initial data on dosing, safety, and mechanical properties of the stent.

"Guidant's bioabsorbable stent program is aligned with our strategy of leveraging bioabsorbable technologies to provide innovative site-specific therapy for the treatment of heart disease," said Dana G. Mead, Jr., president, Vascular Intervention, Guidant Corporation. "During this past year, Guidant's Bioabsorbable Vascular Solutions subsidiary has made considerable progress in researching a bioabsorbable everolimus eluting stent platform, giving us continued confidence in the promise of this new technology."

Bioabsorbable Vascular Solutions was established in March 2003 as an entrepreneurial subsidiary in the Silicon Valley. Headed by John M. Capek, Ph.D., the new Guidant subsidiary is developing site-specific therapies based on bioabsorbable technologies. The acquired company was originally founded by SyneCor, LLC, a medical technology generator of new life sciences companies based in Research Triangle Park, N.C., and Portola Valley and Santa Rosa, Calif.

Guidant Corporation is a world leader in the treatment of cardiac and vascular disease. The company pioneers lifesaving technology, giving an opportunity for better life today to millions of cardiac and vascular patients worldwide. Driven by a strong entrepreneurial culture of 12,000 employees, Guidant develops, manufactures and markets a broad array of products and services that enable less invasive care for some of life's most threatening medical conditions. For more information visit www.guidant.com.

NOTE TO MEDIA: For more information about Guidant, including its products and services, please visit the company's newsroom at www.guidant.com/newsroom.

This release includes forward-looking statements concerning the venture, related milestones and payments, and development of the therapy. The statements are based on assumptions about many important factors, including continuing clinical and regulatory developments, product development timelines and other factors identified on Exhibit 99.1 to the company's most recent 10-K. Actual results may differ materially. The company does not undertake to update its forward-looking statements.

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