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Boston Scientific Beefs Up Neuromodulation Business with Latest Acquisition

The company has acquired Massachusetts-based Cosman Medical Inc., which makes radiofrequency ablation systems for treatment of chronic pain.

Nancy Crotti

Boston Scientific is adding to its neuromodulation business with the acquisition of a privately owned radiofrequency ablation company.

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The Marlborough, MA, medtech giant has acquired Cosman Medical Inc. in nearby Burlington, MA, for an undisclosed sum. Founded in 1938, Cosman makes radiofrequency generators, electrodes, and cannulae for interventional anesthesiology, podiatry, and neurosurgery, including electrode kits for special applications, according to its website. Boston Scientific's neuromodulation business sells spinal cord stimulators to treat patients with chronic pain, and deep brain stimulation systems for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, dystonia, and essential tremor.

One in three Americans suffers from chronic pain, and more than 100 million people are partially or totally disabled by chronic pain. It is the No. 1 one cause of disability in adults in the United States, according to the American Chronic Pain Association. Radiofrequency ablation is an outpatient procedure that has been in use for more than 50 years. It works by applying heat to small areas of nerve tissue to interrupt pain signals. If the technique is not effective, patients may move on to spinal cord stimulation, which sends electrical signals to the spinal cord, masking pain signals from reaching the brain.

"This acquisition is a natural extension of our current product portfolio and will help us provide physicians and patients more options to address chronic pain with non-opioid therapeutic treatments," Maulik Nanavaty, president of neuromodulation for Boston Scientific, said in a statement. "The addition of the Cosman Medical product line, which is built on industry-leading technology and known for its high quality, expands our capability to provide innovative solutions for the treatment of chronic pain."

Cosman Medical represents three generations of physics research and invention of medical devices. Bernard Cosman, inventor of the first radiofrequency generator used in medicine, founded a different company, Radionics Inc., which was sold in 2000, according to a company history. Bernard Cosman's son, Eric Cosman, a professor in the physics department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), founded Cosman Medical in 2004, and his son, Eric Cosman Jr., who holds PhD from MIT, is Cosman Medical's scientific director.

The Cosman Medical acquisition follows Boston Scientific's May 2016 launch of its Precision Montage MRI spinal cord stimulator system, following FDA approval. Patients who use the system may safely have full-body magnetic resonance imaging in a 1.5 Tesla environment when conditions of use are met, according to the company. In the final months of 2015, Boston Scientific launched the Precision Novi, its first product for the primary cell non-rechargeable market. The company's deep-brain stimulation devices are not approved for use in the United States.

Boston Scientific expects the net impact of its purchase of Cosman Medical on adjusted earnings per share to be break-even in 2016 and accretive thereafter. It did not disclose specific terms of the transaction.

Nancy Crotti is a contributor to Qmed.

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