St. Jude Medical puts more skin in iRhythm Technologies| Acquisitions roundup

May 17, 2011 by MassDevice staff

iRhythm Technologies raises another $15 million, including funds from lead equity round investor St. Jude Medical.

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St. Jude Medical’s (NYSE:STJ) partnership with a California-based arrhythmia-diagnostic company is going well enough that it recently poured more money into that startup.

In May 2010, the Little Canada, Minn.-based company signed a co-branding and co-marketing relationship with San Francisco-based iRhythm Technologies Inc. and was the lead investor in iRhythm’s $10 million equity round. Last week, iRhythm raised another $15 million with a new lead investor, New Leaf Venture Partners, but existing investors also participated, including St. Jude Medical.

A St. Jude spokeswoman would not disclose how much the company has invested, but did acknowledge that ”so far it has been a positive relationship” for both companies.

iRhythm makes the Zio Patch, a single-use, water-resistant, continuous cardiac rhythm monitoring device that can be worn for up to 14 days. It's an early diagnostic tool for patients who do not have symptoms of cardiac arrhythmia, or suffer from transient symptoms such as palpitations, dizziness, light-headedness, among others.

iRhythm President and CEO William Willis, said the Zio Patch removes all the encumbrances of a traditional cardiac monitoring device and is simple and easy for patients to use. The Zio Patch has two adhesive discs that surround the electrodes that receive and store electric signals; the electrodes don’t need to be changed, the batteries don't need to be replaced, and the device weighs less than two ounces.

“There are no wires, which there are with all other products, and it’s in a water-proof casing,” Willis added. “With all other products, patients have to take them off when they bathe. They have to take all of the apparatus off and then have to reconnect them. Again, with our product, it doesn’t require that.”

Willis contends that because of this, patient compliance is high — near 100 percent — compared to competing devices in the marketplace that are at about 50 percent, he said.

Here's a roundup of companies announcing mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.