Abbott snaps up replacement mitral valve maker Cephea

Abbott has exercised a three-year-old option to purchase Cephea Valve Technologies, a San Jose, California-based developer of minimally invasive mitral heart valve replacements.

The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Abbott previously gave Cephea an unrevealed amount of money for the option in mid-2015 to help build upon its MitraClip repair franchise, one of the company’s top performers.

"The acquisition of Cephea builds on Abbott's strong position in structural heart therapies and is consistent with our strategy to develop comprehensive treatments for people with mitral valve disease," said Michael Dale, vice president of Abbott's structural heart business.

Cephea’s artificial valve is designed to be delivered through a vein in the leg, to replace a leaky or diseased mitral valve to restore normal blood blow through the heart.

Mitral valve disease is the most common heart valve problem, and affects more than 4 million people in the U.S., according to Abbott, which expects the market to become a multibillion-dollar segment in the coming years.

"Cephea's novel approach to replace the mitral valve adds to our other catheter-based technologies and is being developed to provide an additional option for patients who suffer from this difficult-to-treat disease," Dale said.

Abbott’s 2015 investment in Cephea was made alongside a $250 million acquisition deal for Tendyne, makers of a bioprosthetic mitral valve system.