Medtronic To Pick Up Ablation Frontiers for $225 Million Upfront

Xconomy San Diego — 

Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) says it has inked a deal to acquire Carlsbad, CA’s Ablation Frontiers, which has been developing a medical device for treating heart arrhythmias. Medtronic will make pay an initial $225 million for the firm, and may make additional payments if certain milestones are met.

Medtronic, the Minneapolis medical equipment maker, plans to integrate Ablation Frontiers with a unit focused on providing safer, simpler, and more effective ways for treating atrial fibrillation, a heart-rhythm problem that affects about 3 million Americans and 7 million people worldwide.

Medtronic plans to combine Ablation Frontiers with another recent acquisition, CryoCath Technologies, which specializes in a “cryoablation” treatment for arrhythmias, in which errant heart cells are killed by freezing. Ablation Frontiers has been developing a catheter-based technology that uses radiofrequency energy to zap the troublesome cells.

Ablation Frontiers gained approval to market its radiofrequency system in the European Union in 2006, and the company is now conducting a clinical trial as a step toward at gaining FDA approval for the device as a treatment for atrial fibrillation in the United States.

Medtronic’s buyout of Ablation Frontiers is subject to regulatory approval. In an announcement, the two companies said that Ablation Frontiers’ shareholders have already approved the deal. The privately held company listed its investors as Aberdare Ventures, Affinity Ventures, Hexagon Investments, Novartis Bioventures, Pequot Ventures, Trellis Health Ventures, Venture Lending & Leasing III, Versant Ventures, and WS Investment Company.

The transaction is expected to close in Medtronic’s fourth fiscal quarter, which ends April 24.