Medtronic partners with DaVita, rolls out CRT meta-analysis data

Dialysis provider DaVita HealthCare Partners ($DVA) has partnered with Medtronic ($MDT) for a pilot program to study cardiac arrhythmias in end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients receiving dialysis. It will use the tiny implantable cardiac monitor, Linq, which Medtronic launched early this year.

The rate of arrhythmias among ESRD patients is typically high, and the collaboration hopes to offer data to better flesh out the relationship between dialysis and cardiac events in these patients.

Mahesh Krishnan

"Through the collaboration we expect to utilize innovative monitoring technology and data from our DaVita Kidney Care information systems across the country. This effort is poised to improve the lives of patients by proactively detecting and preventing cardiac complications," Mahesh Krishnan, VP of clinical innovation and public policy for DaVita HealthCare Partners, said in a statement. The partnership is through DaVita's Kidney Care division, which has 2,152 outpatient dialysis centers in the U.S. serving about 170,000 patients; it also has 86 ex-U.S. dialysis centers in 10 countries.

Beyond cardiac monitoring, Medtronic also released meta-analysis data on the efficacy and economic value of its cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) devices for the treatment of heart failure. The results were detailed over the weekend at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2014 in Chicago, IL.

The data show that CRT reduces the rate of hospital readmission within 30 days of a heart failure hospitalization by 26%. For patients with more advanced heart failure the benefit was higher at 31%. The results are based on pooled data from five Medtronic-sponsored trials (CARE-HF, MIRACLE, MIRACLE-ICD, RAFT and REVERSE) with a total of 3,872 patients.

"The efficient management of heart failure is a growing priority for healthcare," said Dr. Linda Gillam, chair of cardiovascular medicine at Atlantic Health System in a statement. "These new economic data reinforce the important benefits of CRT and demonstrate its value, not only for patient health, but also the fiscal health of the hospitals and health systems that treat them."

In addition, a separate pooled analysis found that CRT patients who improved (68%) or remained unchanged (15%) after six months were projected to live eight years as compared to a life expectancy of less than two years for the 17% of patients who worsened after CRT intervention. This study included a different set of five Medtronic trials (MIRACLE, MIRACLE-ICD, InSync III Marquis, PROSPECT and Adaptive CRT) that involved 1,603 total patients.

Dr. David Steinhaus

"Cardiac resynchronization therapy is an important tool in the management of heart failure and these data are a prime example of how innovations, including Medtronic's AdaptivCRT pacing algorithm, can enhance the clinical and economic value of an already proven therapy," Dr. David Steinhaus, VP and general manager of Medtronic's Heart Failure business and medical director for its Cardiac Rhythm and Heart Failure business.

Medtronic markets several CRT devices that use its proprietary AdaptivCRT algorithm that continually adjusts parameters in response to patient activity levels and conduction status including Viva XT and Viva Quad XT CRT-defibrillators and Viva(R) CRT-pacemakers.

Separately, the medical device giant is also prepping the financing for its acquisition of Covidien ($COV) that is expected to complete by the first quarter of 2015. According to The Wall Street Journal, it is ready to issue a $10 billion bond--one of the largest of 2014--to help finance the transaction. Medtronic said previously that it expects to raise $16 billion in debt to finance the transaction.

- here are the releases on the DaVita deal and the CRT data
- here is the WSJ story on the $10 billion bond

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