In its latest corporate acquisition, the Minnesota-run medical devicemaker Medtronic PLC announced it has paid $110 million for a California company whose products secure artificial patches inside weakened aortic arteries.
Aptus Endosystems of Sunnyvale, Calif., makes a system that inserts tiny screws to anchor a tube-shaped graft implant that lines the inside of a weakened aorta, which is the body’s main artery moving blood from the heart. Endosystems’ anchors can be used to secure endograft implants made by Medtronic and other companies.
“Medtronic’s acquisition of the Aptus technology is validation of our mission to bring a durable solution to patients with challenging anatomies,” Aptus CEO James Reinstein said in a news release about the deal.
About 1.5 million Americans have a condition known as an abdominal aortic aneurysm, which is a weakened section of the aorta that may rupture unexpectedly and cause internal bleeding in some patients.
For aortic aneurysms that need surgical treatment, one approach is to guide a minimally invasive tube through a leg incision to the site of the aneurysm and then deploy a fabric-and-metal liner that directs the blood and prevents pressure from pushing out on the weakened area.
But such grafts don’t always fit perfectly in everyone’s anatomy. Aptus’ systems can be used to anchor the liner and prevent leakage, especially in patients who have problems with an existing endograft seal or those who have risk factors that would make it dangerous to do a revision procedure if the initial seal doesn’t work.
The Aptus Heli-FX EndoAnchor system can be used to anchor abdominal aortic endograft sheaths, while the Heli-FX Thoracic system can be used in repairs higher up in the chest. The systems are compatible with Medtronic’s Endurant and Valiant graft systems, as well as systems made by two other companies, a video on Aptus’ website says.
“We are excited to add this unique complementary anchor technology to our aortic portfolio,” Medtronic aortic general manager Daveen Chopra said in a statement. The devices “strongly align with our strategy to invest in treatments that address complex aortic disease with a vision to treat disease of the entire aorta.”
Medtronic has bought several companies since late January, when it competed a $49.9 billion deal to acquire hospital supplier Covidien and move its combined corporate headquarters to low-tax Ireland while keeping executives’ offices in Fridley. Medtronic officials said the offshore tax structure would allow more flexibility to allocate company cash, some of which would be used in strategic deals to expand the company’s product offerings.
Last week, the newly expanded Medtronic announced the acquisition of CardioInsight Technologies of Cleveland in a deal valued at $93 million, and in April it paid an undisclosed sum for Dutch diabetes clinic Diabeter. In March, it announced a deal for Colorado’s Sophono, and in February it revealed plans to buy Tennessee-based Advanced Uro-Solutions.
The company last week also said it would buy back another 80 million shares of its stock and increase its quarterly dividend by 25 percent, to 38 cents.