News Feature | July 8, 2014

Thoratec Buys Apica Cardiovascular For $75 Million

By Joel Lindsey


Thoratec Corporation, maker of devices for advanced heart failure, recently announced that it has purchased Irish firm Apica Cardiovascular for $35 million with an upfront cash payment and $45 million in potential milestones.

“We believe Apica represents an exciting transaction that will further enhance the strong market position of our HeartMate product line over time through introduction of an elegant suite of products customized for  VAD [ventricular assist device] procedures,” Gary F. Burbach, president and CEO at Thoratec, said in a press release. “Once developed, we expect Apica’s unique technology benefits will enable both expansion of the overall VAD market as well as increased penetration for Thoratec devices.”

Under the deal, Thoratec will assume the development of Apica’s VAD Surgical Implant System (SIS) and the Apica Access Stabilization and Closure (ASC) platform. According to the press release, the implants “enable uniform access to the heart in transapical procedures with minimal interoperative and post-operative blood loss and a secure permanent closure that eliminates the need for sutures.”

The ASC device was granted the CE Mark in 2013, and is now commercially available in European markets on a limited basis. Thoratec plans to further develop the SIS device in preparation for human trials.

The acquisition would strengthen Thoratec’s portfolio of devices for advanced heart failure patients. According to the company, 20,000 of its devices — including the HeartMate II and HeartMate III left ventricular assist systems (LVAS) and Thoratec VAD — have been implanted in heart failure patients. 

According to a report from NASDAQ, the first human implantation of the HeartMate III device was recently completed in Hannover, Germany, as part of an ongoing clinical trial for the product’s CE Mark approval.

Thoratec anticipates incurring $3 million in additional expenses for 2014, and $6 to 7 million more in 2015, for the continued research and development, the statement said. The Pleasanton, Ca.-based company also expects to pay a higher tax rate in the short-term due to the loss of U.S.-based expense deductions, as Apica is based in Ireland. However, it acknowledged that it could receive long-term tax benefits as Apica transitions to Thoratec.

According to an Irish Times article, the “Apica team will be retained in full at the Innovation Centre at NUI Galway and it is likely that further development and investment in the product will increase employment there over time.”