Medtronic buys Affera to expand cardiac ablation line

IRELAND – Ireland-based Medtronic has started the year on top-gear with the acquisition of privately-held Affera Inc., a company that designs and manufactures cardiac mapping and navigation systems and catheter-based cardiac ablation technologies.

Prior to the agreement, Medtronic owned a 3% stake in the Boston-based company. Medtronic stated that the acquisition will significantly expand its portfolio of advanced cardiac ablation products and accessories in order to meet physician needs in a US$8 billion market.

Medtronic acquired a differentiated, focal pulsed field ablation solution for the treatment of patients with cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) such as atrial fibrillation as part of the deal.

The transaction is not expected to be completed until the first half of Medtronic’s fiscal year 2023, which begins on May 1.

While Affera is an early-stage company with technologies that have not yet been approved for commercial use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), medtech investors are familiar with it.

In December, the company closed a US$75 million Series C financing round, which included large investors such as Boston-based Bain Capital Life Sciences.

Affera recently celebrated the first patient treated with its technology in New York. The company announced last month that it had received FDA approval to begin a randomized trial of its Sphere PerAF device for the treatment of persistent atrial fibrillation.

In the most recent full fiscal year, cardiovascular products accounted for 35.7 percent of Medtronic’s sales.

Epix Therapeutics, a maker of a catheter-based ablation system for arrhythmia patients, was acquired by the medtech behemoth in 2019.

Doron Harlev, the founder and CEO of Affera, has prior experience in this field. Harlev previously co-founded Rhythmia Medical, which was acquired in 2012 by Boston Scientific Corp.

This acquisition directly aligns with our vision of delivering novel solutions to address the rapidly growing demands for cardiac arrhythmia treatment,” Harlev said in a news release.

We are excited to focus on the integration of our technology with Medtronic and are confident that together we can increase patient access to ablation therapies.”

Medtronic does a lot of business in the cardiovascular market. The segment generated more than US$10.7 billion in revenue for the medical device manufacturer in its fiscal year 2021.

For perspective, Medtronic earned a total of US$30.1 billion in 2021, the most recent fiscal year.

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