Medtronic to buy HeartWare, expand heart failure portfolio


Medical technology giant Medtronic will purchase miniaturised heart device firm, Heartware, in a deal worth an estimated $1.1 billion.

The deal will see Heartware’s expansive range of diagnostics, therapies and technologies integrated into Medtronic’s own portfolio of innovative medical technology solutions.

"The addition of HeartWare's innovative portfolio adds to our expanding portfolio of diagnostics, therapeutics and services that address heart failure patients," said Mike Coyle, executive vice president and president of the Cardiac and Vascular Group at Medtronic. "The team at HeartWare has established excellent relationships with its hospital customers and built a strong position and reputation in the marketplace. This transaction, once closed, will be a further, important step toward Medtronic offering a complete suite of solutions to address patient needs across the heart failure care continuum."

Heartware’s flagship technology is the HVAD system – the world’s smallest ventricular assist device for the treatment of congestive heart failure, designed to reduce both surgical invasiveness and patient recovery time. The company claims the pump is small enough to fit into patients with a smaller frame whilst being powerful enough to be used in large or obese patients.

The company also has similar technology in the pipeline, including its MVAD pump which boasts a smaller size than the HVAD pump but features the same “contactless” technology as its predecessor, achieved through a series of magnetic interactions. The advantages of this type of technology are three-fold: a reduction in red blood cell stresses, optimal blood flow through the system and a longer term device reliability.

Also in the pipeline is the development of the company’s so-called Transcutaneous Energy Transfer (TET) technology – a fully implantable battery pack that can be periodically charged using inductive coupling across the skin. The technology looks to eliminate the need for connection to an external charging system for hours at a time.

"Medtronic is the worldwide leader in cardiovascular device technologies," said Doug Godshall, president and chief executive officer, HeartWare. “Its expansive expertise in the development of implantable systems and battery technologies, patient monitoring, manufacturing, global regulatory policy and commercialisation should help accelerate the development and introduction of our innovative pipeline products, and will expand access to our therapies and offerings to the sizeable heart failure population."

For Medtronic, the acquisition expands its already huge library of medical device solutions. It will now have an even greater presence in a market estimated to currently cost US healthcare authorities around $39 billion per year and to grow to include an estimated eight million heart failure patients by 2030.

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Marco Ricci

28 June, 2016