Still looking to trim the fat, Acutus sells line of heart devices to Medtronic for $50M upfront

If there’s a name for the much less exciting inverse of a shopping spree, Acutus Medical is on it.

Continuing its efforts to cut back on spending that began earlier this year with a spate of layoffs, company restructuring and other “cost reduction measures,” the medtech maker is now shedding a portion of its cardiac devices.

The discarded devices include the AcQCross suite of catheters, which were cleared by the FDA just last year to cross the heart’s septum and enter the left atrium in ablation procedures to treat atrial fibrillation and other arrhythmias. Also leaving the nest are a range of AcQGuide steerable transseptal introducers, dilators and sheaths.

The new owner of Acutus’ left-heart access portfolio is none other than Medtronic, which has agreed to put down $50 million in upfront cash for the devices. The buyer will dole out additional payments of an unspecified amount over time, as the portfolio hits certain predetermined milestones and sales goals.

Minus those devices, Acutus’ pared-down portfolio will revolve almost solely around its heart-mapping software, which is meant to provide a 3D image of the heart that pinpoints the source of arrhythmia and helps guide more accurate ablation treatment.

Alongside the sale of the left-heart access devices—and in conjunction with that deal—Acutus has also secured a longer-term credit facility that’ll allow it to refinance its existing debt. The new loan, courtesy of healthcare investor Deerfield Management Company, amounts to a total of $35 million.

“This set of initiatives is an important milestone for Acutus and is the result of the strategic reprioritization we announced earlier this year,” said Vince Burgess, the company’s president and CEO.

“The extended maturity from our refinancing along with proceeds from the definitive agreement to sell our left-heart access portfolio will allow us to intensify our focus on driving the adoption of our electrophysiology mapping and therapy solutions as well as improving our operational and financial performance,” Burgess said.

These latest attempts to cut back on spending follow Acutus’ announcement in January that it was setting in motion a plan to reduce its quarterly cash burn by 30% to 40% by the end of 2022, totaling a full-year reduction of up to $25 million in operating expenses.

That included layoffs that were expected to be completed by the end of the quarter. Though Acutus didn’t say how many employees would be let go, it noted that the workforce reduction fell under the jurisdiction of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which applies to layoffs of at least 50 workers.

In addition, Acutus said it would be narrowing the scope of its product development work and would home in on maximizing utilization of its heart-mapping consoles that are already in use by healthcare providers.