Medical Devices

Medtronic buying two technologies that treat diseased heart valves

Courtesy of Medtronic

Courtesy of Medtronic

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — Medtronic Inc. on Monday acquired one heart valve technology maker and agreed to buy another.

The moves push the medical-devices giant further into the market of non-surgical or minimally invasive surgery technologies for replacing heart valves, according to Dow Jones Newswires at They also renew Medtronic’s rivalry with Edwards Lifesciences Corp.

The deals also could help Medtronic offset sluggish conditions in its biggest business – implantable heart defibrillators — and competitive pressure elsewhere in the company, Dow Jones said.

The market for so-called transcatheter valves — valves delivered through catheters – is small and open only overseas thus far, Dow Jones said. Neither company’s technology is approved for commercialization or sale in the United States.

But Medtronic sees potential for that market to balloon to $2.7 billion to $3.5 billion over time, Dow Jones said.

Medtronic bought Ventor Technologies Ltd. in Netanya, Israel, for $325 million. Ventor develops technologies delivered through catheters to treat valve diseases of the aorta, the body’s largest artery.

Under current practice, patients who have narrowed aortas must be treated through open-heart surgery.

Delivering technologies via tubes, known as catheters, threaded through arteries offers a non-surgical alternative for patients who need replacement valves but may not survive open-heart surgery, Medtronic said in a written statement.

Medtronic in the past acquired two other transcatheter technologies for treating diseased heart valves.

“The combination of Ventor Technologies and our strengths in research and development, operations, medical education and market development will improve patient outcomes and expand physician adoption among both surgeons and interventional cardiologists,” said Bill Hawkins, Medtronic’s chairman and chief executive, in his company’s statement.

In a separate release, Medtronic said it had agreed to buy CoreValve Inc. in Irvine, Calif., for an initial payment of $700 million. Based on milestones achieved, Medtronic could pay more for CoreValve.

CoreValve develops technologies that are delivered to diseased hearts via catheters inserted in a groin artery.

Medtronic shares were up 26 cents to $34.26 in late afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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