By Suzanne Hodsden
Boston Scientific continues to diversify its foothold in the cardiovascular space, signing a definitive agreement to acquire select technologies and manufacturing capabilities from Neovasc, a Canadian biological tissue business specializing in elements used to build transcatheter heart valves. Assets acquired in the $75 million deal will be used to manufacture Boston Scientific’s Lotus Valve System, which has a projected 2017 launch in the U.S.
Neovasc’s products include the Tiara technology, which is a transcatheter treatment for mitral valve regurgitation, and the Neovasc Reducer, an implanted stent indicated for refractory angina. The Tiara self-expanding device is delivered through the apex of the heart, preserving the structure of the heart, which opens up a new treatment modality for patients who cannot tolerate traditional methods of mitral valve repair.
Under terms of the deal, Boston Scientific will gain access to Neovasc’s tissue processing technology and manufacturing facilities for $67 million, and will invest an additional $7 million into Neovasc in return for a 15-percent equity stake. Neovasc will retain a license for all assets sold and will continue developing Tiara in the sold facilities. The company was recently granted regulatory approval to begin clinical trials with Tiara in Europe.
“Boston Scientific has been a long-time customer of Neovasc, having historically represented a sizeable percentage of our tissue processing revenues,” said Alexei Marko, Neovasc CEO, in a press release. “As one of the world’s premiere device companies, with a global cardio-vascular franchise, this investment in Neovasc enables continued development of our lead products, Reducer and Tiara, and strengthens our resolve to revolutionize how structural heart disease is treated.”
With the acquisition, Boston Scientific is building momentum to take on Medtronic and Edwards Lifesciences in the structural heart space, according to Investor's Business Daily. In a recent earnings call, Boston Scientific CEO Michael Mahoney told investors that the company would be seeking deals that “continue to strengthen and diversify the company in faster growth markets” and filling gaps in their existing portfolio.
“We continually seek ways to optimize our manufacturing processes and enhance our product portfolio,” said Ed Mackey, executive VP of operations at Boston Scientific, in a separate press release. “The vertically integrated operational capabilities resulting from this acquisition will strengthen our structural heart pipeline and immediately benefit our Lotus Valve platform as we work to increase our market share in Europe and prepare for launch in the U.S., expected in 2017.”
Boston Scientific’s Lotus Edge Valve platform received CE Mark in September, and is the second generation of the technology indicated for patients with severe aortic stenosis. Boston Scientific confirmed in its press release that the facility acquired from Neovasc will be used to manufacture Lotus and other heart valve technologies developed in the future.
Boston Scientific’s investment in Neovasc acts as a “lifeline” for Neovasc, reported Investor’s Business Daily. A jury recently found in favor of Edwards Lifesciences’ recently acquired subsidiary — CardiAQ Valve Technologies — in a $91 million patent infringement case versus Neovasc. Neovasc plans to repeal the decision.