Boston Scientific buys up cardiac cryoablation device firm Cryterion for $202M upfront

Boston Scientific is acquiring Cryterion Medical, a company the medical device giant has invested in since its launch in 2016, by buying up the remaining 65% stake for $202 million upfront as Boston Scientific continues its shopping spree.

The purchase includes Cryterion’s balloon-based cryoablation platform for atrial fibrillation. Treating heart rhythm disorders with cardiac ablation includes delivering either heating or cooling energy to specific areas of the heart muscle, interrupting abnormal electrical signals and isolating pulmonary veins by destroying tissue.

Now, Boston Scientific can aim to do both, the company said in a statement. The addition of the single-shot cryoballoon to its ablation portfolio could complement its radiofrequency device that delivers heat energy.

"The acquisition of Cryterion Medical enhances our AF ablation procedure offerings, allowing physicians to select a therapeutic option based on clinical preference and specific patient needs," said Kenneth Stein, senior VP and chief medical officer of rhythm management and global health policy at Boston Scientific.

However, the Carlsbad, California-based Cryterion has not yet received clearance for its platform. The system is currently being studied in a European clinical trial, and the company plans to submit the data for a CE mark in early 2019.

“Initial clinical study results demonstrate that our system has a promising safety profile as well as acute efficacy,” said Keegan Harper, Cryterion’s president and CEO. “We look forward to bringing this advanced cryoablation system to market with the support of Boston Scientific.”

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In the U.S., the companies plan to submit an investigational device exemption to the FDA and begin trial enrollment next year.

Boston Scientific estimates the global electrophysiology market will reach $5 billion this year, with single-shot ablation therapies making up the fastest-growing segment, currently trending toward topping $1 billion alone over the next few years.

In the past few months, Boston Scientific has bought up several firms, including Securus Medical for $50 million, adding Securus' FDA-cleared temperature monitoring system to its cardiac rhythm portfolio. Securus’ catheter-based probe maps temperature changes in the esophagus second by second, which is useful during cardiac ablation treatments, and Boston Scientific had led the company’s series C funding round in 2016.

Meanwhile, Boston Scientific acquired nVision Medical, with its device that collects cells from fallopian tubes to detect ovarian cancer, as well as NxThera and its treatment for benign prostatic hyperplasia.