The Irvine, CA-based medical device maker inherited the lawsuit through its $400 million acquisition of CardiAQ Valve Technologies.
|The CardiAQ device is theaded into the heart from below.|
Edwards Lifesciences on Thursday said that a federal jury in Boston has awarded it $70 million in damages for trade secret misappropriation in a suit Edwards inherited from its $400 million acquisition of CardiAQ last year.
CardiAQ--which has a transcatheter mitral valve replacement system, a super hot area in medtech--had accused a former service provider, Neovasc, of breaching the non-disclosure agreement between the parties and misappropriating trade secrets. The federal jury agreed.
CardiAQ co-founders Arshad Quadri, MD, and J. Brent Ratz hired Neovasc in 2009 to provide tissue processing and valve assembly services. But CardiAQ ended up suing Neovasc in 2014 after discovering a late 2011 Neovasc patent publication. Neovasc had been working on its own TMVR program, without disclosing the program to CardiAQ, according to the lawsuit.
"Through many years of dedicated work with Dr. Quadri, we were able to develop an extensive base of knowledge, make important advancements and create the CardiAQ transcatheter mitral valve to help patients in need who are not well-served by therapies available today," said Ratz, who is presently vice president of research and development with the CardiAQ-Edwards TMVR program.
"We are proud of this foundational work and grateful that the jury recognized these contributions to the developing field of transcatheter mitral valve replacement," Ratz said.
A Neovasc official could not be immediately reached for comment.
A federal judge at a later time will decide on two jury factual determinations: that Neovasc was involved in unfair or deceptive acts or practices and that Ratz and Quadri and contributed to the conception of the Neovasc patent.
TMVR is a new frontier for medical device companies, which have already made great strides with catheter-based aortic valve replacement technology. Besides Edwards, Medtronic and Abbott Labs also shelled out hundreds of millions of dollars to buy young companies with promising technology in the space.
Learn more about cutting-edge medical devices at MD&M East, June 14-15, 2016 in New York City.
Chris Newmarker is senior editor of Qmed and MPMN. Follow him on Twitter at @newmarker.
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