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Medtronic Buys Some Products from Acutus

Image courtesy of Panther Media GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo Growth Strategy Next Exit printed on a highway sign, representing Acutus Medical's growth strategy
The sale, along with a debt refinancing, gives Acutus a much-needed path forward.

Acutus Medical, an arrhythmia management company, appears to have found a much-needed path forward.

The company is selling its left-heart access portfolio to Medtronic for an upfront cash payment of $50 million plus potential future payments tied to certain milestones and future sales. Acutus also reported a debt refinancing to replace its existing debt facility with a new debt facility due in five years.

The portfolio Medtronic is buying includes the AcQCross line of sheath-compatible septal crossing devices, the AcQGuide Mini integrated crossing device and sheath, the AcQGuide Flex steerable introducer with integrated transseptal dilator and needle, and the AcQGuide Vue steerable sheath.

Before COVID-19, Acutus was turning heads and getting noticed by some of medtech's most reputable analysts. But the pandemic has been tough on the Carlsbad, CA-based company.

Faced with ongoing macroeconomic headwinds and an evolving commercial strategy, investor sentiment toward Acutus had dropped to an all-time low by the end of 2021, according to Marie Thibault, a BTIG analyst and a former managing editor at MD+DI. Earlier this year, Acutus announced a restructuring plan that included a workforce reduction, but some analysts, including Thibault, questioned if those cuts would be steep enough.

“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.”

In a research note issued Wednesday, Thibault said the debt refinancing and the product portfolio sale should extend Acutus Medical's cash runway into early 2024. On the other hand, the anlayst noted that the left-heart access portfolio was a contributor to revenue and was expected to be a growth driver for the company. Thibault said she expects Acutus shares to move higher Wednesday on the announcement, as it offers the company "immediate relief on its financing concerns and gives management time to show sustainable commercial traction." BTIG also upgraded its rating on the company from "neutral" to "buy."

Indeed, the company's shares were already up about 27% as of 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

TAGS: COVID-19
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