Irvine, Calif.-based heart valve manufacturer Edwards Lifesciences Corp (NYSE: EW) said it agreed to acquire Israeli transcatheter valve developer Valtech Cardio Ltd., for $340 million in stock and cash at closing, with the potential for up to $350 million in additional milestone payments over the next 10 years.
The move comes a year after Valtech’s proposed sale to HeartWare (NASDAQ: HTWR) for up to $927 million subject to milestones, was terminated.
Valtech was founded in Peregrine Ventures’ incubator jointly with its co-founders Amir and Yossi Gross. The company raised over $100 million from OXO Capital, IFA, NGN, HeartWare and other smaller investors. Peregrine was recently ranked as the leading Israeli medical device and life sciences investors.
Valtech has developed the Cardioband System for transcatheter repair of the mitral and tricuspid valves. Cardioband combines a reconstruction implant, similar to a surgical annuloplasty mitral valve repair device, with a transcatheter approach. The system utilizes a catheter inserted into the femoral vein and delivered through a transseptal approach across the septum of the heart. The direct annuloplasty system features a unique segmental deployment that conforms to each patient’s specific annular geometry, addressing the needs of patients with functional mitral regurgitation.
In 2015, the Cardioband transseptal mitral repair system received CE Mark approval for European sales. Valtech has also initiated a CE Mark trial for the tricuspid application of a similar version of this device, which is intended to reduce tricuspid regurgitation. The Cardioband System is not approved for sale in the United States.
“As we continue to pursue multiple therapies to address the diverse needs of patients affected by heart valve disease, we saw an important opportunity to incorporate Valtech’s technologies into our comprehensive heart valve repair and replacement portfolio,” said Edwards’ chairman and CEO Michael A. Mussallem. “We recognize that physicians will likely need a toolbox of options to treat their patients most effectively. We are very pleased with the progress and future prospects of the multiple internal programs we have underway, and we believe the addition of Valtech’s talented team and mitral and tricuspid technologies will present even more opportunities to help patients.”
Prior to the close of the transaction, which remains subject to customary closing conditions and is expected in early 2017, Valtech will spin off its early-stage transseptal mitral valve replacement technology program. Edwards will retain an option to acquire that program and its associated intellectual property.
Separately, Edwards’ board of directors has authorized a new share repurchase program to acquire up to an additional $1 billion of the company’s outstanding common shares. Edwards also has $277 million remaining of its current $750 million share repurchase program, which was authorized in July 2014. This authorization enables the company to repurchase shares to offset the dilution of the Valtech transaction, and continue executing its share repurchase strategies.