Boston Scientific Announces Agreement for Investment & Acquisition Option with Transcatheter Annuloplasty Ring Developer Millipede, Inc.
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Global medical device company Boston Scientific has announced on January 24, 2018, an agreement to make a $90 million investment in privately-held medical device company Millipede, Inc. Millipede has developed a non-invasive solution for repair of the heart’s mitral valve. According to the press release, the agreement includes an option for Boston Scientific to acquire all remaining shares of Millipede, upon completion of a clinical study, for an additional $325 million in cash, with an extra $125 million in payments upon completing a commercial milestone.
According to Millipede’s website, Millipede’s IRIS Transcatheter Annuloplasty Ring System reshapes the mitral valve annulus of the heart to treat severe mitral regurgitation (MR). MR is caused by a leaking mitral valve, which causes blood to flow backward from the left ventricle into the left atrium. Over time, MR can lead to or accelerate heart failure and rhythm problems. Millipede’s website describes the IRIS system as providing the gold standard in surgical heart valve repair – a complete annuloplasty ring implant. The implant reshapes and reduces the mitral valve annulus opening, enabling return of leaflet coaptation and reduction of MR.
According to Millipede, the implant is delivered via catheter, for example through a small cut in the patient’s leg. This allows patients to avoid invasive open heart surgery, which is necessary for implantation of conventional annuloplasty rings. Millipede describes the transcatheter ring as repositionable and retrievable.
“We saw an opportunity to bring the gold-standard surgical approach to repairing the mitral valve to an underserved population of severe MR patients with transcatheter techniques, and are excited Boston Scientific also sees the unique abilities of the IRIS transcatheter ring” – Joe Cunningham, MD, Chairman of the Board, Millipede, Inc. and Managing Director of Santé Ventures.
Millipede is based in Santa Rosa, California and was founded in 2012 by majority investor Santé Ventures and Steve Bolling, MD, and has been led by CEO Randy Lashinski since 2014.
Boston Scientific describes itself as a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices, providing a broad range of high performance solutions that address patient needs and aim to reduce the cost of healthcare.
Millipede is a client of intellectual property and technology law firm Knobbe Martens. With over 275 lawyers and scientists nationwide, Knobbe Martens dedicates its practice to all aspects of intellectual property law including litigation and is consistently ranked among the top intellectual property firms worldwide.
Tom is a Partner in the San Diego office and serves clients worldwide in aerospace, mechanical, and medical technologies. He counsels clients on overall IP strategy, performs IP audits, prosecutes patents and trademarks, conducts pre-litigation enforcement of IP rights, negotiates licenses, and conducts offensive and defensive diligence such as patentability and infringement studies.
As a former aerospace engineer with experience at NASA and Northrop Grumman, and holding a master’s degree in biomedical engineering, Tom’s legal services are supplemented with his advanced technical abilities in a wide range of inventive domains.
Tom has particular experience with assisting startups from the conceptual design phase through acquisition. One recent example is Millipede, Inc., developer of a heart valve annuloplasty device. Tom prosecuted their patent portfolio and provided defensive patent diligence, resulting in investments and an acquisition by Boston Scientific totaling $540,000,000.
Other example particular technologies in Tom’s patent experience include cardiac devices, intracranial sensors, prosthetics, aircraft and rockets, robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles (drones), semiconductors, imaging and biosensors, high altitude balloons, control systems, thermal management systems, software, and more.
Additional highlights include:
Keynote Speaker, “Patent Basics for the Aerospace Industry,” at the 2019 Space Foundation Space Commerce Workshop
Former Mechanical engineer at Northrop Grumman, where he designed and tested complex structures and mechanisms for various spacecraft programs
Interned at NASA Armstrong Space Center, Aerodynamics Branch, where he analyzed data for the Quiet Supersonic Platform
Inventor of the “Inflate-A-Brake,” a system for de-orbiting small satellites to reduce space debris
Publications Coordinator for the firm’s medical device practice group, which leads the nation in medical device patent prosecution having obtained over 4,800 medical device patents since 1976 and 2,700 medical device patents since 2010
Member of the firm’s pro bono committee and coordinates with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office’s regional patent pro bono program to assist indigent individuals and non-profit organizations
Co-Chair of the Licensing Executives Society (LES) for the San Diego Chapter
Holds a minor in Chinese and studied Chinese language and history at Shaanxi Normal University in Xian, China
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