By Jof Enriquez,
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Edwards Lifesciences is buying Israel-based Valtech Cardio for $340 million in stock and cash, plus an additional $350 million in milestone-driven payments over the next ten years. Expected to close in early 2017, the deal includes Valtech's Cardioband system for transcatheter repair of the mitral and tricuspid valves, and also involves spinning off Valtech's Cardiovalve mitral valve replacement (TMVR) system, which Edwards could acquire later.
The CE-marked Cardioband combines a reconstruction implant, similar to surgical annuloplasty devices, with a transcatheter transseptal delivery system. The system utilizes a catheter inserted into the femoral vein and delivered through a transseptal approach. Implantation to the mitral annulus is sutureless, using specially designed anchors, and fitting each patient's unique annular geometry to reduce functional mitral regurgitation (FMR). A similar device for tricuspid regurgitation is undergoing CE mark trial.
Cardiovalve is a transcatheter, transseptally delivered, low-profile, mitral valve replacement (TMVR) system. As part of the deal to buy Valtech, Edwards retains the option to acquire the Cardiovalve platform at a later date.
"As we continue to pursue multiple therapies to address the diverse needs of patients affected by heart valve disease, we saw an important opportunity to incorporate Valtech's technologies into our comprehensive heart valve repair and replacement portfolio," said Michael A. Mussallem, Edwards' chairman and CEO, in a news release. "We recognize that physicians will likely need a toolbox of options to treat their patients most effectively. We are very pleased with the progress and future prospects of the multiple internal programs we have underway, and we believe the addition of Valtech's talented team and mitral and tricuspid technologies will present even more opportunities to help patients."
Valtech was previously targeted by Heartware, which withdrew its offer after encountering regulatory woes. Heartware, a developer of miniaturized left ventricular assist devices (LVADs), was acquired by Medtronic in June. Instead of potentially winding up with Medtronic, Valtech's portfolio now belongs to Edwards, in what is perceived as a strategic acquisition to round out its transcatheter heart valve portfolio.
"We are pleased that Edwards, a global leader in patient focused medical innovations for structural heart disease, has elected to include in its growing portfolio of transcatheter based therapies, the Cardioband system for both mitral and tricuspid valve repair. We believe this will position Cardioband to achieve its full potential as a fundamental breakthrough in the way patients are treated for both mitral and tricuspid regurgitation" said Amir Gross, founder and CEO of Valtech, in a press release.
Separately, Edwards' board of directors said it authorized a new share repurchase program to acquire up to an additional $1 billion of the company's outstanding common shares, according to Reuters.