Boston Scientific Acquires Sadra for $193M Upfront, Gets Device To Fix Heart Valves

Xconomy Boston — 

Boston Scientific just made a move into one of the fields of cardiology with growth potential by acquiring Los Gatos, CA-based Sadra Medical.

The Natick, MA-based device giant (NYSE: BSX) already owns 14 percent of Sadra, and today said it is paying $193 million upfront to acquire the rest of the company, and may shell out another $193 million if the company hits regulatory and sales goals through 2016. The acquisition, potentially worth a total of $386 million, is expected to close late this year, or in early 2011, Boston Scientific said.

By taking over Sadra, Boston Scientific is making a play in one of the few areas of cardiology still considered a growth market. Sadra is developing technology for percutaneous aortic valve repair, in which interventional cardiologists seek to thread a catheter through the femoral artery of the leg, and up into the chest to repair the heart’s aortic valve without cracking open the chest and doing surgery. The technology is attractive because it’s a new market, in which elderly people generally considered too frail for heart surgery can become candidates for a minimally invasive valve repair procedure. As many as 3 million people in U.S. have narrowing of their aortic valves, Sadra says on its website.

One of Boston Scientific’s rivals, Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) made a splash in this area in February 2009 when it paid $700 million upfront, plus milestones to acquire Irvine, CA-based CoreValve. Steve Salmon, a medical device venture investor at Latterell Venture Partners in San Francisco, told Xconomy in September that percutaneous valve repair is one of the hot areas companies and investors were watching at this year’s Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics Conference.

“Percutaneous aortic valve replacement is a fast-growing market within structural heart therapies, and we expect it to be an important part of our growth plan,” Boston Scientific CEO Ray Elliott said in a statement. “Sadra’s innovative technology is a natural fit with Boston Scientific’s core competencies in stents and catheter-based delivery systems, allowing us to leverage our clinical expertise and existing sales channels.”

Sadra was founded in 2003. Besides Boston Scientific, its crew of venture backers included Accuitive Medical Ventures, Finistere, Firstmark Capital, Oakwood, Onset Ventures, and SV Life Sciences. The company raised $30 million back in May 2009.