Infraredx penetrates Japanese market with $50M Nipro deal

Infraredx found a partner to help boost its presence in Asia and stands to make at least $50 million in the process. The Burlington, MA imaging device maker finalized an agreement with Nipro, a Japanese medical device and pharmaceutical conglomerate, to distribute its TVC imaging system in the country to help diagnose and treat coronary artery disease.

As part of the agreement, Nipro will work to obtain marketing approval in Japan for the TVC System and eyes reaching that milestone and a commercial launch in 2013. Additionally Nipro will maintain the equipment and teach physicians how to use it. Nipro's side of the deal covers revenue–at least $50 million over the life of the deal. The exclusive deal lasts five years for the product, which uses near infrared spectroscopy and enhanced intravascular ultrasound imaging to evaluate lipid core plaques that could cause stenting complications. Once identified, surgeons can then tailor the treatment accordingly.

Japan appears to be a good target for the product, which Infraredx CEO Donald Southard says is the world's largest intravascular imaging market. Over 80% of all percutaneous coronary intervention procedures are guided by intravascular imaging in Japan, according to the company.

Infraredx launched the TVC imaging system last fall in the U.S., following FDA approval. Launched initially in 1998, the company has also been selling its LipiScan NIR and IVUS coronary imaging systems since 2009 and 2010, respectively.

About a year ago, Infraredx raised $24.1 million in an equity offering to existing shareholders to help boost its manufacturing and commercial operations. Last December, the company obtained a $10 million term loan facility from GE Capital's Healthcare Financial Services to support commercialization efforts specifically for its TVC system.

- read the press release