Thoratec Enhances HeartMate with Apica Acquisition

Mechanical circulatory support specialist, Thoratec Corporation has reportedly acquired Apica Cardiovascular Limited for an upfront cash payment of $35 million and potential future clinical and sales milestones of up to $40 million. Oh, and by the way, Apica is based in Ireland. Sound familiar?


Thoratec is a frequent visitor to our pages with its HeartMate franchise of mechanical circulatory support devices. Advantageously for Thoratec, Apica has developed a suite of implant systems and devices designed to enable transapical surgical access. These devices include a VAD Surgical Implant System (“SIS”) which offers the potential to support less invasive and off-pump implantation of HeartMate products. 

Last November Apica announced first clinical use of its Access Stabilization and Closure (“ASC”) device, following its CE marking in September 2013. The device, intended to be used to enable uniform transapical access to the heart, can be used in transcatheter aortic valve replacement (“TAVR”) and transcatheter mitral valve replacement (“TMVR”) procedures performed with this approach.


Thoratec will immediately assume ongoing development and commercialization of the Apica VAD SIS and ASC platforms. The VAD SIS device has achieved important development milestones and Thoratec will continue to develop this technology to optimize its application for VAD implants prior to initiating human clinical trials.

Like Covidien, recently the subject of acquisition by Medtronic, Apica is an Irish-domiciled entity. While in theory this means some potential tax savings, paradoxically in the short term Thoratec’s tax rate will increase modestly during the developmental phase of the VAD SIS program due to the loss of U.S.-based expense deductions.

As part of the agreement, the Apica team based at facilities in Ireland and the United States will transition to Thoratec.

Company comments

“We believe Apica represents an exciting transaction that will further enhance the strong market position of our HeartMate product line over time through introduction of an elegant suite of products customized for VAD procedures,” said Gary F. Burbach, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Once developed, we expect Apica’s unique technology benefits will enable both expansion of the overall VAD market as well as increased penetration for Thoratec devices,” he added.

Source: Thoratec Corporation, PR Newswire


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