Zoll snags German cardiovascular outfit

Zoll Medical has acquired Germany's Lifebridge Medizintechnik and its portable life-support technology.--Courtesy of Lifebridge

Zoll Medical has made its second buy of the month, reaching into Germany for Lifebridge Medizintechnik, maker of emergency-use cardiovascular devices.

For an undisclosed sum, Zoll gets to market the Lifebridge system, a portable life-support technology that improves blood flow and oxygenation in emergency settings, the company said, keeping patients alive while they wait for needed procedures. The CE marked device provides percutaneous cardiopulmonary bypass in minutes, Zoll said, and, thanks to its built-in safety settings, the system doesn't require a perfusionist to be operated.

Lifebridge is cleared overseas as an extracorporeal life support system, but Zoll President James Palazzolo said the company sees an opportunity to expand the technologies indications into new treatment areas.

"Every 10th patient who has a heart attack is at risk of cardiogenic shock, which, if left untreated, all too frequently leads to death," Palazzolo said in a statement. "The Lifebridge system supports these high-risk patients until they can receive reperfusion therapy in the emergency department, cath lab or undergo heart surgery."

The Lifebridge deal is Zoll's second cardiovascular-focused acquisition this month, following its buyout of CoAxia, a venture-backed Minnesota catheter company. While Zoll never disclosed the price tag for CoAxia, the company framed the deal as a low-risk, high-reward proposal. CoAxia could never convince the FDA to indicate its two catheters for stroke prevention, but Zoll figures it can succeed where the company failed, doing "what is necessary for it to be a standard treatment option for hundreds of thousands of stroke patients worldwide," Palazzolo said.

- read Zoll's statement