Boston Scientific shook up the cardiovascular world this week with its decision to retire its entire Lotus transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) platform. That decision translates into job loss for 106 Minnesota-based employees, according to reports from Bring Me the News and MassDevice.
As required by law, the company notified the state of Minnesota of the anticipated layoffs, which are expected to start on Jan.19. While Boston Scientific is headquartered in Massachusetts, the company's interventional cardiology division is located in Minnesota.
MassDevice reported that the company is actively seeking to reduce impacts of the eliminated positions through redeployments within Boston Scientific.
As MD+DI reported on Tuesday, Boston Scientific said its decision to retire the Lotus TAVR platform was based on complexities associated with the product delivery system. The company emphasized that there is no safety issue for patients who currently have an implanted Lotus Edge valve. The company says it will now focus on its Acurate neo2 TAVR, its Sentinel embolic protection device, and other high-growth areas of its portfolio. It should be noted, however, that the Acurate neo2 TAVR system isn't expected to reach the U.S. market until 2024.
Analyst reaction to the news was mixed, with most noting that the decision would add to recent investor frustration with the company. But as one medtech analyst pointed out, it will likely prove to be the right decision in the long run.
"Given the gross margin profile and training and field support involved with the current Lotus system, combined with the development time and investment required to develop and reintroduce an enhanced, easier-to-use delivery system, [Boston Scientific] has chosen to sunset the entire Lotus platform immediately," Canaccord Genuity analyst William Plovanic wrote. "Net-net, we believe that this tough decision was the correct one in the long term and definitively answers the question regarding the go-forward strategy in TAVR."