Devices & Diagnostics, Health Tech

Wallaby Medical acquires phenox GmbH to broaden its stroke treatment and prevention product pipeline

Wallaby, which has its main offices in Laguna Hills, California and Shanghai, China, and Bochum, Germany-based phenox have been strategic partners since 2019. The deal is valued at about 500 million euros, including milestone payments, or the equivalent of more than $542 million.

 

Wallaby Medical, a medical technology company focused on interventional products for stroke, announced Thursday that it has acquired phenox GmbH, which makes devices to treat stroke. The deal is valued at about 500 million euros, including milestone payments, or the equivalent of more than $542 million.

Wallaby, which has its main offices in Laguna Hills, California and Shanghai, China, and phenox have been strategic partners since 2019. Bochum, Germany-based phenox has been the exclusive distributor for Wallaby’s Avenir Coil System in the U.S. and European markets and Wallaby’s Esperance Aspiration Catheters in the U.S. The coil system is used to treat or prevent hemorrhagic strokes, which are caused by bleeding in the brain that interferes with the brain’s function. The aspiration catheters treat ischemic strokes, which are typically caused by a clot in a blood vessel in the brain.

Wallaby sells a significant portion of its products in the U.S. and other major developed markets, according to the company, while phenox’s neurovascular devices that treat ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes are sold in over 45 countries worldwide.

“The market for neurovascular medical devices is forecasted to grow considerably, driven by an aging population and the increasing focus on diagnosing and treating stroke. The growth in the overall market includes hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke treatment devices, which is a core strength of Wallaby Medical and phenox GmbH,” said Wallaby CEO Michael Alper, who will become CEO of the combined organization, in an email. “In terms of geographic coverage, the new Wallaby Medical will have deep roots in Europe and China with a strong presence in the U.S. and Japan. Australia and Canada are the next target markets.”

With its acquisition of phenox, Wallaby also gets phenox’s femtos GmbH. The spinoff of a public research university in Germany, femtos develops and manufactures next generation neurovascular devices for treating stroke. It has special expertise in femto-second laser technology for the manufacturing of stents and other implantable devices, and serves as an incubator for next generation medical technologies.

The product pipelines of the two companies are highly complementary, Alper said. The broadened product range will give Wallaby Medical an additional competitive edge and help the company to achieve its vision of saving the greatest number of lives of people affected by stroke, he said.

A number of major device makers and health conglomerates produce neurovascular devices. Those include Stryker, Johnson & Johnson and Medtronic. Taking them on necessarily means a company has to have the right size, market reach and an extensive product portfolio.

As part of the new Wallaby, phenox will retain all its current product brands, and the company’s founder, Hermann Monstadt, will become managing director of phenox. Monstadt echoed Alper in reiterating that at phenox and Wallaby there is no overlap of products.

“Through this transaction, phenox now has a very strong financial partner who can support the company on its international growth strategy, not only in China but also in the U.S., and who furthermore provides phenox with an extensive access to new markets,” Monstadt said in an email. “What stands out is the possibility to leverage the worldwide R&D activities of both phenox and Wallaby through this transaction. That way, phenox is able to provide support and stability to even more patients around the world.”

Photo: mikdam, Getty Images