Medtronic to buy stent retriever cover startup Lazarus Effect for $100M

Lazarus Cover--Courtesy of Lazarus Effect

Medtronic ($MDT) will buy stent retriever cover maker Lazarus Effect for $100 million in cash. The medical device giant expects to use the startup's novel nitinol mesh cover product, the Lazarus Cover, in conjunction with its own Solitaire stent retriever platform. Earlier this month, Medtronic rolled out a more effective catheter delivery system for Solitaire.

The acquisition will add to the company's Neurovascular business--which was by far its fastest growing unit last quarter. But it remains relatively small within Medtronic's vast girth. The Neurovascular division had $138 million in revenue during the most recent quarter ending on July 31, with "mid-twenties" growth compared to the same period a year earlier. Sales of the Solitaire revascularization device for stent thrombectomy drove "robust growth" in neurovascular stent sales.

The physical removal of clots to treat acute ischemic stroke has been established firmly within the last year as standard-of-care, with a slew of positive clinical results including those published in the New England Journal of Medicine. So, the category stands to see more growth and the Lazarus Effect acquisition is expected to enhance the Solitaire system to better take advantage of this opportunity.

There were more than 240,000 acute ischemic stroke victims in the U.S who would have been eligible for treatment with a stent retriever, like Solitaire. But only roughly 13,000 procedures were actually performed on those U.S. patients last year. That's expected to change, particularly following the new stroke treatment guidelines issued by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association that recommend stent retriever use for these patients.

"With this acquisition, Medtronic reinforces its commitment to providing innovative solutions to clinicians and patients fighting stroke," said Medtronic Neurovascular division President Brett Wall in a statement. "Lazarus Effect's 'mesh cover' technology complements our ischemic stroke portfolio, and further enhances our Neurovascular business's ability to deliver next generation technologies."

The Neuovascular division is part of the Restorative Therapies Group at Medtronic. The Lazarus Cover device received a CE mark in November. It has been submitted to FDA--with a decision said to be pending.

The Lazarus Cover is designed to reduce the loss of clot particles during stent retrieval procedures, which is a problem in 5.6% of surgeries, according to data from the startup. Its device was created to be compatible with a number of stent retrievers, including Medtronic's Solitaire. The cover essentially folds over a stent retriever device during the procedure and wraps the stent with the clot inside to minimize the escape of particles.

"Medtronic has been a significant supporter of the recent clinical work showing improved outcomes of ischemic stroke patients treated with endovascular therapy," said Lazarus Effect co-founder President and CEO Martin Dieck. "Their support of data driven clinical evidence and the success with their Solitaire stent retriever device make them the clear market leader for treating ischemic stroke."

- here is the deal announcement