Cook, being a private company probably has much more leeway in initiating a deal than a public company does. It is clear to see that Cook saw a chance that might elevate its stent program to the premier position in the industry. With a chance like that and their lack of SEC scrutiny may have encouraged them to deal with a management team they normally would not talk to.
It also helped that AVII had Joe Horn formerly of Cook! This probably comforted Cook in dealing with a management team, they might normally cross the street to avoid.
If a company doesn't feel comfortable with the management, they will avoid the science and possibly even try to invent their way around it.
I have led technical teams where the directive from top management is we will not talk to company X. We want to accomplish the same thing, but we will not pay one red cent in royalties. This was often accompanied by a lecture on the parentage of the people running company X.
At this point the wise manager salutes and says, "Yes, sir!" Then he directs his people to find ways to get there without infringing on company X.
In some cases it was clear the company X of the moment could be bought for a fraction of the development cost we would incur.
These things happen every day in the business world.
Companies go out of their way to do business with people they can trust and avoid those where they have no confidence like the plague.
*** I agree completely with what Redplate has previously said on this topic in this thread.