Abiomed CEO comments on Abbott’s pending acquisition of St. Jude Medical

During a conference call with analysts on May 3, Abiomed CEO Michael R. Minogue said the company’s strategic plans would not change if shareholders and regulatory authorities approve the merger of Abbott and St. Jude Medical.

Abbott announced on April 28 that it had agreed to acquire St. Jude Medical for approximately $25 billion. If the deal closes in the fourth quarter of 2016, as expected, the combined company would be second in the world in cardiovascular device sales behind Medtronic.

“Given that our number one priority is education, we feel that any effort by either St. Jude or Abbott putting towards educating a community on the benefits of hemodynamic support is advantageous,” Minogue said. “We don’t think that there’s really any change whether it’s St. Jude or Abbott as it pertains to Abiomed. It will not meaningfully change our business strategy in any way.”

In October 2015, St. Jude Medical acquired Thoratec, an Abiomed competitor that manufactures the HeartMate left ventricular assist devices. St. Jude Medical reported last month that quarterly sales in its heart failure division increased 49 percent to $374 million, led by increased adoption of the Heartmate II left ventricular assist system in the U.S. and the Heartmate 3 left ventricular assist system in Europe.

Abiomed has also seen increased adoption of its Impella heart pumps. The company announced on May 3 that the Impella revenue increased 46 percent to $310.1 million for fiscal year 2016 and grew 40 percent to $88.6 million in the fourth quarter.

Minogue said the Impella 2.5, CP, 5.0 and LD devices have advantages over stents, pacemaker, valves and other technologies.

“The mission and foundation of our technology has been always focused on heart recovery,” he said. “It’s really around protecting the heart muscle or recovering the heart muscle. That’s what makes our solution unique compared to other innovative technologies…We’re really the only company that is focused on helping the heart muscle.”