St. Jude Medical has invested $60 million in CardioMEMS, a Georgia company that has developed a wireless cardiac monitoring device, acquiring 19 percent stake in the company. And, as the Minneapolis Star-Tribune points out, St. Jude could buy CardioMEMS outright for an additional $375 million if certain milestones are met.
CardioMEMS' wireless monitoring technology can be placed directly in the pulmonary artery to assess cardiac performance. The implant procedure is fast and simple, according to a St. Jude statement. The CardioMEMS monitoring system is supported by data from the randomized, controlled CHAMPION trial that studied the effectiveness of this device in New York Heart Association Class III HF patients who had been hospitalized for HF in the previous 12 months. It found a statistically significant 30 percent reduction in the rate of HF-related hospitalization at six months and 38 percent per year reduction in HF related hospitalizations during an average follow-up duration of 15 months.
"The CHAMPION trial provides great promise for patients suffering from chronic symptomatic heart failure," Jay Yadav, founder, CEO and director of CardioMEMS, says in a statement. "As we work toward the commercialization of this promising technology, we are excited to have the support of a company like St. Jude Medical, with its significant expertise and focus in the areas of cardiac rhythm management, heart failure disease management and other cardiac technologies."
Heart failure "is an enormous market," says Phil Nalbone, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, according to the Star-Tribune. "The market will take years to develop, but it's wise for St. Jude to have a seat at the table."
Medtronic already sells the Reveal system, which can be implanted just below the skin in the upper chest area, MedCity News reports. The device monitors the heart rhythms of patients who suffer fainting spells.