The Federal Trade Commission is requesting additional information from Boston Scientific and BTG ahead of their proposed $4.2 billion acquisition deal.
The antitrust regulator is seeking additional documentation related to the companies’ therapeutic beads businesses—which form the bulk of BTG’s interventional oncology offerings, and which Boston Scientific has eyed as the means to help transform its cancer franchise, from one primarily offering delivery tools into a $500 million enterprise.
BTG’s TheraSphere Y-90 radiotherapy for liver cancer, for example, consists of implantable glass microspheres that deliver high doses of localized radiation. It’s currently in early-stage development for lung and breast cancers, as well as bone metastases.
The London-based medtech company also offers its LC Bead line of hydrogel microspheres, which are used to block the flow of blood and starve growing hypervascular tumors and arteriovenous malformations, as well as a chemotherapy-eluting bead system.
Following its announcement last November, analysts at Jeffries described BTG's interventional medicine and oncology portfolios as the "hidden gem" in the deal—and that it could be as transformative as Boston Scientific’s 2015 acquisition of AMS, which helped the medtech giant enter the men’s health and urology sectors.
In addition, more than 90% of BTG’s current revenue comes from the U.S., which Boston Scientific sees as an opportunity to pull new products up through its global marketing and commercialization teams and into new markets.
In a statement, Boston Scientific and BTG said they plan to cooperate with the FTC’s request as soon as possible, and believe they are still on track with their previous timeline for the closure of the deal, expected by mid-2019. They also noted the planned merger has already received sign-offs from regulatory authorities in Germany and Taiwan.
And while the transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, the deal is still subject to a vote of BTG’s shareholders, scheduled for Feb. 28. BTG’s three largest shareholders, covering about a third of the company’s outstanding shares, have already committed to vote in favor of the deal.