Medtronic Finds Cardiac Advantage with Epix Acquisition

Medtronic has announced their intention to acquire tech developer Epix Therapeutics for an undisclosed amount. The company has their eye on Epix’ innovative DiamondTemp catheter-based cardiac ablation system and believes the device will complement their own product offerings.

“The DiamondTemp ablation system stands out from other RF ablation technologies because of the real-time temperature control via rapid power modulation. This results in shorter procedure times and higher confidence in lesion quality. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Epix to design the Diamond-AF II trial and I look forward to continuing that work with Medtronic,” study global principal investigator Dr. Atul Verma of Newmarket, Canada’s Southlake Regional Health Center said in a prepared statement.

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The company received CE Mark approval for DiamondTemp use in the European Union and has been FDA IDE-approved for trial use in the United States. The hope is the Diamond-AF trial will support American regulatory clearance to treat patients with symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.

“The…[device] represents leapfrog technology in the RF cardiac ablation space, a segment of the market where we haven’t previously participated. When combined with our existing leading cryoballoon technology, we expect to provide physicians with a complete portfolio of best-in-class cryo and RF systems,” atrial fibrillation solutions division GM Rebecca Seidel said in a press release.

Medtronic is the world’s largest producer of medical devices with $30 billion in revenue. It operates four business units, including the cardiac and vascular group; minimally invasive therapies group; restorative therapies group; and the diabetes group. Their most profitable portfolio is cardiac and vascular with 11.4 billion reported in revenue.

The company was founded in 1949 by Earl Bakken and his brother-in-law, Palmer Hermundslie, as a medical equipment repair shop. Brekken was introduced to Dr. C. Walton Lillehei, a heart surgeon with the University of Minnesota Medical School, through his work. After a power outage led to the death of one of Lillehai’s pediatric patients in 1957, Brekken developed the first battery-powered external artificial pacemaker.

Medtronic grew through the 1950’s by selling both medical equipment made by others and their own custom devices. Since then, the company grown and diversified their business. They operate in 140 countries and employ over 86,000 people.