Medtronic to buy Affera, gain cardiac treatment tech

Medtronic plans to acquire Affera, a private medical technology company, for $925 million in a move to expand its portfolio of advanced ablation products as physicians see more patients with cardiac arrhythmias.

The acquisition will likely close during the first half of Medtronic’s fiscal year 2023, according to a company presentation shared at J.P. Morgan’s annual healthcare conference on Monday.

The deal fits into the company’s ongoing move to accelerate revenue growth through tuck-in mergers and acquisitions, said Geoff Martha, Medtronic chairman and CEO, at the conference.

“With Affera, we’ll be entering advanced cardiac mapping and navigation for the first time,” Martha said. “Enhancing our ability to compete head-on in this important high-growth market.”

In recent years Medtronic has made a number of acquisitions in the artificial intelligence space as a way to add emerging technologies and data analytics to its medical devices. The company is already a strategic investor in Affera and holds a 3% ownership stake.

Affera’s technologies include a rapid cardiac mapping and navigation platform used to diagnose arrhythmias and a cardiac ablation catheter used to deliver cardiac ablation therapy.

Worldwide, atrial fibrillation affects almost 60 million people, and contributes to an $8 billion market of ablation products used to treat the progressive disease and prevent heart failure, stroke and death.

The items designed and manufactured by Affera will add to Medtronic’s existing atrial and ventricular arrhythmia disease management portfolio and aid the company in providing safe and effective cardiac ablation solutions.

“Affera offers technologies that support physician customers as they work to improve clinical workflows, procedural efficiencies, and ultimately optimize patient care,” said Stacy Beske, vice president of strategy at Medtronic’s Cardiac Ablation Solutions business, in a news release.

Currently, not all of Affera’s products are approved or on the market. In December 2021, the company said it was partaking in a U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigational device exemption trial to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of its system for persistent atrial fibrillation treatment.

In 2021, Medtronic changed its operating model by selecting leaders to manage units focused on more specific medical specialties and diseases, and setting performance incentives and compensation that aligned with market share growth.

In the year’s third quarter, 14 of Medtronic’s 20 operating units had held or grown their market share year-over-year, compared to only nine in 2020’s third quarter, according to the company’s J.P. Morgan presentation.

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