Is This the Deal LivaNova has Been Waiting For?

LivaNova has agreed to pony up $225 million to acquire ImThera Medical, less than a month after ditching the cardiac rhythm management business.

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LivaNova isn't one to waste time. Just two weeks ago the London-based company unveiled plans to divest its cardiac rhythm management business (CRM) to MicroPort for $190 million in cash, a move that would allow the company to shift more focus to its areas of strength, including neuromodulation. This week, the company said it has agreed to pay up to $225 million to acquire San Diego, CA-based ImThera Medical.

ImThera develops neurostimulation technology for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The company's implantable device is designed to stimulate multiple tongue muscles via the hypoglossal nerve, which opens the airway while a patient is sleeping.

LivaNova has been an investor in ImThera since 2011. To acquire the remaining outstanding interests of ImThera, LivaNova has agreed to pay about $78 million up front, plus regulatory and sales-based milestone payments up to a total of roughly $225 million. The company expects the deal to close in early 2018 and be near-term accretive.

"The ImThera device is highly aligned with our existing neuromodulation business, and we are extremely excited about the opportunity to optimize the technology and fold it into our universal platform," said LivaNova CEO Damien McDonald.

He said that in the near term the company will focus on expanding ImThera's commercial presence in Europe, while advancing enrollment in an FDA pivotal trial for the OSA implant.

“The OSA market is large and growing, with many unmet needs. With our strong commercial capabilities and robust manufacturing, we look forward to bringing this innovative technology to the large patient population that has been unsuccessful with other treatments, allowing them to improve their quality of life,” McDonald said.

Patients with OSA can experience impaired daytime functionality, along with severe comorbidities such as heart failure and stroke. ImThera’s implantable device received CE mark in 2012 and is indicated for patients with moderate to severe OSA who are unable or unwilling to use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. For these patients, the device is designed to reduce or eliminate sleep apnea, as demonstrated through clinical studies and its initial commercial use in Europe. Enrollment in a pivotal study is currently underway to obtain FDA premarket approval for the OSA implant.

“Adding ImThera and its obstructive sleep apnea device to our portfolio will strengthen our position as a leader in the field of neuromodulation,” said Jason Richey, LivaNova's president of North America and general manager of the neuromodulation business.

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