Abbott Expands Presence in Heart Valve Repair

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Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories recently announced two transactions intended to increase Abbott’s presence in mitral valve replacement therapy and bolster its structural heart portfolio.  First, Abbott will acquire Minnesota-based Tendyne Holdings, Inc. for $250 million.  Second, Abbott provided capital and secured an option to purchase California-based Cephea Valve Technologies – financial terms were not disclosed.

According to its website, Tendyne is a private medical device company focused on minimally-invasive mitral valve replacement therapies and does not yet have a commercially available product. However, in April, the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation reported the first successful U.S. implant of a Tendyne heart valve.  Tendyne’s Bioprosthetic Mitral Valve System has approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a feasibility clinical trial to provide data about the device’s safety and effectiveness.  Enrollment in the trial has already begun.  Tendyne also plans to begin a clinical trial in Europe to support a CE Mark.

Cephea Valve Technologies is a private company focused on developing a transcatheter mitral valve replacement therapy. Cephea’s valves are at an early stage of development and have not yet begun clinical trials.

Before Abbott announced these transactions, Abbott’s only structural heart product was MitraClip, an endovascularly-delivered device that has been used to treat more than 25,000 people. The Tendyne and Cephea valve technologies, like MitraClip, are designed to be implanted in a beating heart without the need for open heart surgery. John M. Capek, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Ventures for Abbott stated:

The Tendyne acquisition and our agreement with Cephea broaden our foundation as one of the leaders in treatments for mitral valve disease, with the goal of bringing promising, less invasive valve treatment technologies to people who need them.

The mitral valve is positioned between the left upper and lower chambers in the heart.  Some analysts believe that transcatheter mitral valves could address an even larger market than transcatheter aortic heart valves.  There may be agreement among industry players: earlier this month, Edwards Lifesciences Corp., which has strong sales growth for its aortic valves, reached a $400 million deal to acquire CardiAQ Valve Technologies, another company focused on developing transcatheter mitral-valve replacement therapies.


Michael Burns
Michael Burns is an associate in the firm's Orange County office. Dr. Burns' practice focuses on patent prosecution for mechanical, medical device, and life science clients. Prior to joining the firm, Dr. Burns did post-doctoral research on cardiovascular systems. At the University of Chicago, Dr. Burns was awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award to study how oxygen affects blood vessel growth in the lung. At the Ohio State University, Dr. Burns designed and built a flow system for studying how best to restore blood flow after someone has suffered a heart attack. Dr. Burns worked as a summer associate at the firm in 2013 and joined the firm in 2014.
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