Devices & Diagnostics

Canada approves Medtronic device to treat atrial fibrillation

Canadian regulators have approved Medtronic Inc.’s (NYSE: MDT) technology to treat atrial fibrillation. Health Canada OKd the Fridley, Minnesota, company’s Ablation Frontiers Cardiac Ablation System, which uses radio frequency energy to kill diseased tissue that causes the heart to quiver or beat abnormally.

Canadian regulators have approved Medtronic Inc.’s (NYSE: MDT) technology to treat atrial fibrillation.

Health Canada OKd the Fridley, Minnesota, company’s Ablation Frontiers Cardiac Ablation System, which uses radio frequency energy to kill diseased tissue that causes the heart to quiver or beat abnormally.

About 2.2 million Americans suffer from atrial fibrillation (AF), in which the two small upper chambers of the heart quiver instead of beat normally, according to the American Heart Association. When the patient’s heart is not pumping effectively, blood pools clot and get lodged in the brain, causing strokes.

The system includes catheters that can map and navigate the pulmonary veins so doctors can better target areas of the heart that need the therapy.

“As one of the newest tools in Medtronic’s rapidly growing AF Solutions portfolio, our aim is to provide physicians with easy-to-use ablation technologies that help them safely treat those suffering from AF, when used as indicated,” Reggie Groves, vice president and general manager of Medtronic’s AF Solutions division, said in a statement.

Medical device makers are flocking to the $2 billion global AF market, which has been growing at double-digit rates per year.

The company acquired Ablation Frontiers Inc., which created the radio frequency technology, last year for $225 million.

Medtronic also paid $380 million to purchase CryoCath Technologies Inc. in 2008. The Canadian company makes catheters (tubes) and balloons that can deliver subzero temperatures to the heart. The technology restores normal electrical signals by freezing the tissue or pathways behind the irregular quivering.

Medtronic has yet to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration in the United States for these AF treatments.