Devices & Diagnostics, Startups

Making a dent in the stent market: Altura Medical acquired by Lombard Medical for $50.5M

The Altura device offers a way to graft to the renal artery in a less invasive manner that’s meant to be simpler and more intuitive.

Silicon Valley-based Altura Medical, the venture-backed maker of an endovascular aneurysm repair device, just got acquired by the publicly traded Lombard Medical for $50.5 million.

Altura Medical’s platform actually fits quite well with Lombard’s Aorfix device, which develops devices for endovascular repair as well.

Such aortic stent grafts have been called out as growth markets for venture capitalists, as seen in a 2009 academic paper from Seminars of Interventional Radiology

Endovascular devices for the treatment of abdominal and thoracic aortic disease are poised to become the next $1 billion medical device market. A shift from open repair to endovascular repair, advances in technology, screening initiatives, and new indications are driving this growth.

This acquisition is notable in context of the paper, however, because:

Although billion-dollar medical device markets are rare, this field is fraught with risk and uncertainty for startups and their venture capital investors. Technological hurdles, daunting clinical and regulatory timelines, market adoption issues, and entrenched competitors pose significant barriers to successful new venture creation. In fact, the number of aortic endografts that have failed to reach commercialization or have been pulled from the market exceeds the number of Food and Drug Administration–approved endografts in the United States.

So it’s particularly notable that Altura’s endograft device received a CE mark this year, and Lombard plans to roll it out in Europe this upcoming January, the companies said in a statement. It’ll apply for an IDE from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration early next year, and plans to kick off a clinical trial later in 2016.

Altura was bought out with $15 million in Lombard common stock at $4 per share, and will assume $5.5 million of the startup’s bank debt and $2.5 million in liabilities.

The Altura device offers a way to graft to the renal artery in a less invasive manner that’s meant to be simpler and more intuitive.