HeartWare bags CircuLite for up to $350M with an eye on bigger market share

CircuLite's Synergy system is roughly the size of a AA battery.--Courtesy of CircuLite

HeartWare ($HTWR) has bought out CircuLite for as much as $350 million, acquiring a cardiac assist device for less-severe patients and broadening its offerings in the heart failure world.

Under the deal, HeartWare shelled out $30 million up front, made up of $18 million in stock and the rest in cash to cover CircuLite's debt. The remaining $320 million is tied to clinical and commercial milestones for CircuLite's Synergy system, a so-called partial-support implant that does for early-stage heart-failure patients what HeartWare's banner device does for those with advanced cases, CEO Doug Godshall said.

"CircuLite has pioneered the partial-assist approach and demonstrated that this technique can significantly enhance the quality of life for this group of patients, which is believed to be a substantially larger population than the end-stage heart failure patients that HeartWare currently treats with our full-support ventricular assist devices," Godshall said in a statement. "... While our HVAD and MVAD systems offer minimally invasive treatment to end-stage heart-failure patients, the Synergy platform offers even less invasive and ultimately interventional options to earlier-stage heart-failure patients."

Synergy, roughly the size and weight of a AA battery, is a micropump inserted through an incision in the chest, reducing the heart's workload. The device secured a CE mark last year, but, after a brief commercial release, CircuLite said it's in the midst of upgrading the implant to address some unspecified issues, planning to relaunch it in a phased rollout.

Meanwhile, HeartWare is still riding high off of last year's FDA approval of its HVAD system, last quarter boosting revenue by 140% to $54.8 million and trimming its net loss by more than half to $11.4 million. The company's shares are up about 30% since its Nov. 7 earnings release, opening at $96.40 on Monday.

- read the statement

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