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Medtronic Spends $458 Million on Mitral Valve Tech

Add Medtronic to the list of medtech companies that have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to acquire transcatheter mitral valve replacement technology.

Medtronic's Post-Covidien Shopping Spree: A Timeline

By Nancy Crotti

Medtronic plc plans to snap up a company that is developing transcatheter mitral valve replacement devices for $458 million.

Ireland-based Medtronic is hoping the acquisition of privately held Twelve Inc. (Redwood, CA) will propel its growth in the transcatheter mitral space. Twelve "has the most novel technology along with a strong, proven team," Medtronic said in a statement. It plans to pay $50 million when Twelve's device obtains the CE Mark, and the rest at closing. 

The deal comes on the heels of other large medical device companies buying transcatheter mitral valve replacement device technology. Abbott announced last month that it was spending $225 million to fully acquire Roseville, MN-based Tendyne Holdings and its minimally invasive mitral valve replacement technology. A few weeks before, Edwards Lifesciences said it was paying up to $400 million to acquire Irvine, CA-based CardiAQ Valve Technologies.

All of the acquisitions--worth more than $1 billion combined--suggest that competition is heating up when it comes to providing technology for minimally invasive mitral valve replacements, which seem to be a useful option for people too weak for standard surgery.

Abbott, which already sells its MitraClip device in the U.S. and many parts of the world, noted last month that mitral valve disease and resulting backflow of blood into the heart is the most prevalent heart valve disease. Abbott expects minimally invasive mitral valve repair and replacement to become a multi-billion dollar market over the next 10 years.

The technology Medtronic is acquiring "brings together valve technology with a unique and highly differentiated dual-stent fixation design," Andrew Cleeland, president and CEO of Twelve, said in the statement.

Medtronic has been on a spending spree since its $48 billion purchase of Covidien in January 2015, acquiring young companies with innovative technologies. It has $6.5 billion to $7 billion in free cash flow this year, chief financial officer Gary Ellis told analysts during an early June 2015 conference call. Ishrak has made it clear that he's interested in snapping up new technologies. (Read a full list of the companies Medtronic has acquired.)

The Twelve acquisition is expected to close in October.

Learn more about cutting-edge medical devices at MEDevice San Diego, September 1-2 and MD&M Philadelphia, October 7-8.

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Nancy Crotti is a contributor to Qmed and MPMN.

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