St. Jude snags Endosense for up to $331M

St. Jude Medical is paying up to $331 million for Endosense and its TactiCath ablation catheter.--Courtesy of Endosense

St. Jude Medical ($STJ) is looking to get electrophysiological, buying Switzerland's Endosense in a deal worth up to $331 million.

Under the deal, St. Jude put up $170 million up front and will fork over another $161 million if TactiCath meets certain regulatory milestones, the company said.

Endosense has developed the TactiCath irrigated ablation catheter, a device that gives physicians real-time readings of how much pressure they're applying to the heart wall during ablation.

The device is already CE marked to treat atrial fibrillation and supraventricular tachycardia, and Endosense plans to submit for FDA approval for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation by year's end, the company said.

TaciCath's force-sensing technology is a valuable addition to St. Jude's growing electrophysiology business, complementing its recently FDA-approved low-radiation Safire Duo and Cool Path Duo and giving it a chance to grow its share of the estimated $900 million global cardiac ablation catheter market, Cardiovascular President Frank Callaghan said.

"This transaction significantly accelerates our timeline to providing an irrigated ablation catheter that incorporates force sensing in both international and U.S. markets, and has potential future applications across other St. Jude Medical technology platforms as well," Callaghan said in a statement.

Endosense kicked off its pivotal trial in February for the first-of-its-kind TactiCath, bankrolling the study with the $40.3 million Series C it closed in November from the likes of Edmond de Rothschild Investment Partners and NeoMed Management.

St. Jude isn't the only device giant with its eye on electrophysiology. In June, Boston Scientific ($BSX) agreed to buy rival C.R. Bard's ($BCR) electrophysiology unit for $275 million, following its October acquisition of Rhythmia Medical for $90 million. Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) has been a heavyweight on the market since buying Israel's Biosense for $400 million back in 1997.

- read St. Jude's announcement

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