NeuroTherm Acquisition Broadens St. Jude’s Pain Management Portfolio

St. Jude Medical, Inc. is to acquire privately held NeuroTherm, Inc., a manufacturer of interventional pain management therapies, for approximately $200 million in cash.

Background

Pain has morphed over the years from being a consequence of being human, to being something we can actually and usefully do something about. Such are its often debilitating effects, estimates put the costing of pain to the U.S. economy alone at an eye-watering $300 million a year.

It’s unsurprising then that companies are interested in what is a developing, high value market. St. Jude has already dived in, treading the spinal cord stimulation path in recent years, building on the old TENS concept and delivering targeted electrical doses that have some effect in the management or alleviation of chronic pain.

Now the company is to accelerate its foray into the pain management business by acquiring NeuroTherm, a self-proclaimed global leader in the treatment of spinal pain using radiofrequency ablation (RFA). RFA is a surprisingly adaptable platform, lending itself to a broad range of applications, from tissue ablation in arthroscopic surgery through to correction of electrical problems in the heart. Neurotherm uses the same basic technology to reduce back pain by interrupting the nerve supply from painful facet joints in the neck or back. The procedure involves the pinpoint, minimally invasive application of RF-generated heat to destroy the painful nerve or nerves. The treatment has been used for over 25 years and provides interventional pain therapy to patients earlier in the chronic pain continuum, often prior to neurostimulation or surgical intervention.

NeuroTherm’s flagship technology is a multi-lesion RF generator that allows real-time temperature monitoring and enables continuous delivery of energy to each site designed to ensure complete treatment of each targeted spinal nerve.

The transaction should be completed by the end of the third quarter, subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to add approximately $10-15 million to St. Jude Medical’s 2014 sales.

Company comments

for St. Jude Medical

“NeuroTherm’s radiofrequency ablation products are an ideal complement to St. Jude Medical’s chronic pain portfolio, providing our global sales force with additional interventional pain therapies that offer potential relief to patients earlier in the chronic pain continuum,” said Michael T. Rousseau, chief operating officer of St. Jude Medical. “As the only medical device manufacturer with both RFA and spinal cord stimulation, this acquisition will enable us to offer more treatment options to patients worldwide who suffer from the debilitating effects of chronic pain.”

for NeuroTherm

Christopher R. von Jako, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of NeuroTherm said, “St. Jude Medical’s global leadership in chronic pain represents an excellent opportunity to bring NeuroTherm’s RF ablation technologies to more pain specialists and patients. We are proud of the business that NeuroTherm has built and thank our employees and shareholders for their commitment to developing innovative interventional pain management therapies. We see a promising future with St. Jude Medical that combines our products with a leading pain franchise and further develops the underpenetrated global market for chronic pain.”

Source: St. Jude Medical, Inc., Business Wire

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