Abbott to Acquire Medical Device Startup Idev Technologies

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) is acquiring Idev Technologies, a suburban Houston medical device company, in a $310 million deal.

Idev manufactures stents used by interventional radiologists, vascular surgeons, and cardiologists to treat blockages in arteries in the leg.

The market for peripheral artery disease is expected to grow to $3.3 billion by 2017, according to Millennium Research Group in Toronto. Fueled by rising obesity and diabetes rates, about 27 million people have blockages in the leg arteries in the United States and Europe.

The deal, which was announced July 15, is expected to close by the end of the year. “Abbott and Idev are very excited about this technology and the future for this technology,” says Christopher Owens, Idev’s president and chief executive officer. “Now we will have additional capabilities and strengths that can be brought to bear.”

Idev was founded in 2000 in the southern Houston suburb of Webster and manufactures Supera Veritas, a self-expanding stent system which is used in Europe to treat blockages in blood vessels stemming from peripheral artery disease, especially in blood vessels in the thigh and knee, where rapid and frequent movement occurs in walking and other daily activities. Supera is designed as to mimic the body’s natural movement. Other types of metal stents, when placed in the legs, have been known to twist and break.

In the United States, Supera Veritas is cleared only for the treatment of the narrowing of a bile duct that occurs in cancer patients. It is currently being reviewed under a Pre-market Approval Application by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of the superficial femoral artery, the main artery in the thigh that supplies blood to lower extremities. The company says that the product has been studied in more than 1,500 patients in clinical trials around the world, including a trial to support regulatory filings in the U.S.

Owens says he can’t speak during the acquisition process about how this deal plays into the company’s overall strategy or what his future role would be. The companies are operating as separate entities in the meantime.

Under the terms of the deal, the Illinois-based Abbott will acquire all outstanding equity of IDEV Technologies. No decision has been made on whether Idev will move to Illinois following the completion of the acquisition.

Idev has 146 employees worldwide, including sales operations in the U.S. and Germany. It sells to clients in 35 countries.

Owens declined to disclose revenues but says Idev’s investors include PTV Sciences, RiverVest Venture Partners, and Piper Jaffray.

IDEV products expand and complement Abbott’s existing peripheral-technology portfolio of guidewires, balloon dilatation catheters, and stents, Chuck Foltz, senior vice president for vascular at Abbott, said in a press release. “This technology has the potential to make a significant impact on the treatment of patients who suffer from peripheral artery disease, a growing concern around the world,” he said.

The Idev acquisition is part of a $560 million deal that also includes the purchase of California-based OptiMedica. By acquiring OptiMedica, Abbott is gaining access to the company’s laser system for cataract surgery.

“Abbott is a world-class company,” Owens says. “Most importantly, this is good for our patients and our customers.”

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