Medtronic to expand heart valve portfolio with $1B in acquisitions
Medtronic today acquired Ventor Technologies, a developer of transcatheter heart valve technologies for the treatment of aortic valve disease, for a payment of $325 million. The company also signed a definitive agreement today to acquire CoreValve for $700 million, plus additional payments contingent upon the achievement of agreed milestones.

The Minneapolis-based Medtronic said that its acquisition of the Netanya, Israel-based Ventor adds two technologies to its transcatheter valve portfolio: "a minimally invasive, surgical transapical technology and a next generation percutaneous, transfemoral technology." The technologies offer clinical benefit to different subsets of patients with aortic stenosis, who are at high or prohibitive risk for surgery.

Ventor developed the transapically-implantable Ventor Embracer, which is under clinical investigation in Europe and is not currently available in the U.S. The transapical approach provides an option when a non-femoral approach is preferred due to factors such as peripheral artery disease, according to Medtronic.

CoreValve developed a transcatheter, transfemoral aortic valve replacement product, which the Irvine, Calif.-based company said offers a large number of high or prohibitive surgical-risk patients a non-surgical opportunity to have their aortic valves replaced.

The CoreValve ReValving System is not currently available in the U.S., but is approved for use in Europe. Daniel Lemaitre, president and CEO of CoreValve, said that a non-U.S. clinical evaluation is in progress.

Despite the lack of U.S. regulatory approvals, the acquisitions could eventually grow Medtronic's stake in the U.S. heart valve market, currently valued at $650 million, according to market research firm Frost & Sullivan.