By Suzanne Hodsden
Boston Scientific has announced plans to purchase Symetis, a Swiss-based maker of minimally invasive transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) devices, for $435 million in cash. The acquisition continues Boston Scientific’s strategy of expanding its structural heart business to meet the demands of a rapidly expanding global market.
Symetis was established in 2001 and currently markets two TAVI systems indicated for patients with aortic valve stenosis, a narrowing of the aorta that restricts blood flow from the aorta to the left ventricle, which can be the result of a birth defect or calcification that develops during aging. The Acurate TA and the Acurate neo/TF valve primarily are marketed in Europe, but are yet to be approved for use in the U.S. Symetis currently is completing a European clinical trial for its next-generation valve system, the Acurate neo/AS, according to the company website.
The Acurate family of devices treats the same patient population as Boston Scientific’s Lotus valve, for which the company recently issued a recall due to concerns over the device’s deployment. A spokesperson for the company told Star Tribune that the Lotus should be returning to the European market late this year, and that the company will file for FDA approval by the middle of 2018.
Analysts from Leerink Securities wrote that the acquisition of Symetis would provide Boston Scientific with a product to meet demand in Europe while Lotus is off the market, and will significantly expedite the Acurate’s regulatory pathway in the U.S.
Ian Meredith, an executive VP and global chief medical officer for Boston Scientific, commented in a press release that the Symetis acquisition — along with the company’s recent deal with Neovasc — reflects the company’s commitment to becoming a leader in TAVI and structural heart technologies “now and over the long-term.”
“The Acurate family of valve products is strongly complementary to our cornerstone Lotus valve platform,” said Meredith. “This compelling combination of technologies will allow us to provide interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons with multiple TAVI offerings for varying patient pathologies and anatomies.”
“We are excited to be joining Boston Scientific,” said Jacques Essinger, CEO of Symetis. “We have great respect for the company’s legacy and strong leadership in interventional cardiology, and we look forward to being a part of driving further innovation across its diversified portfolio.”
Aging populations, increasing prevalence of cardiovascular disease among young people in both established and emerging markets, as well as new advances in structural heart devices are seen as the primary drivers for growth in the structural heart device market, according to recent reports. Current projections predict the market will be worth $12 billion by 2022. Devices that treat aortic valve stenosis occupied nearly one-third of the entire market in 2015.