Thoratec acquires Apica Cardiovascular


Thoratec Corporation has announced that it has acquired Apica Cardiovascular Limited for an upfront cash payment of US$35 million and potential future clinical and sales milestones of up to US$40 million. As part of the agreement, the Apica team based at facilities in Ireland and the United States will transition to Thoratec.

Apica has developed a suite of implant systems and devices designed to enable transapical surgical access. These devices include a ventricular assist device surgical implant system and the Apica access, stabilisation and closure device for use in transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and transcatheter mitral valve replacement (TMVR) procedures performed with a transapical approach. The Apica implant systems are meant to enable uniform access to the heart in transapical procedures with minimal interoperative and post-operative blood loss and a secure permanent closure that eliminates the need for sutures. The ventricular assist device surgical implant system specifically leverages the proven existing technology foundation of the access, stabilisation and closure device with the potential to support less invasive and off-pump implantation of HeartMate products while seeking to facilitate reproducible clinical outcomes and wider adoption of these implant techniques. 


Thoratec will immediately assume ongoing development and commercialisation of the Apica ventricular assist device surgical implant system and access, stabilisation and closure device platforms. The access, stabilisation and closure device received CE mark approval in 2013 and is currently in limited commercial launch throughout Europe. The ventricular assist device surgical implant system has achieved important development milestones and Thoratec will continue to develop this technology to optimise its application for ventricular assist device implants prior to initiating human clinical trials. 


“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 customised for ventricular assist device procedures,” says Gary F Burbach, president and chief executive officer. “Once developed, we expect Apica’s unique technology benefits will enable both expansion of the overall ventricular assist device market as well as increased penetration for Thoratec devices,” he adds.


Thoratec anticipates that the acquisition will add incremental operating expenses of approximately US$3 million during the remainder of 2014 and US$6-7 million in 2015, primarily related to research and development. Additionally, since Apica is an Irish-domiciled entity, Thoratec’s tax rate will increase modestly during the developmental phase of the ventricular assist device surgical implant system programme due to the loss of US-based expense deductions, although the company anticipates meaningful long-term tax benefits from this transaction. Thoratec will also recognise transaction-related expenses, including the amortisation of intangible assets, which will be quantified in the company’s second and third quarter earnings reports following completion of the purchase price allocation for the transaction.