Medtronic Plc will spend as much as $458 million to buy Twelve Inc., becoming the latest medical-device giant to buy an experimental product to replace the heart’s mitral valve without open-heart surgery.
Medtronic will pay $408 million in cash at closing, slated for October, and an additional $50 million once the closely held company’s device wins regulatory approval in Europe, Medtronic said in a statement Tuesday.
There are limited options right now for patients who have a damaged mitral valve, which can let blood flow backward into the heart and weaken the muscle. Twelve’s device would be inserted using a catheter in patients who can’t withstand surgery. The company gets its name as the 12th company to emerge from a Menlo Park, California-based medical device incubator known as the Foundry.
The purchase follows similar acquisitions from rivals Abbott Laboratories and Edwards Lifesciences Corp. as the industry turns its attention to mitral valve replacement and repair. Medtronic and Edwards already dominate the market for aortic valve replacement performed without cracking open the chest, which will have sales of $3 billion by 2018, according to Danielle Antalffy, an analyst at Leerink Partners.
Damage to the mitral valve is even more common, though it is harder to treat because of its location between the left atrium and the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber.