Medical device acquirers spent something in the neighborhood of $1.5 billion over the past few months on transcatheter mitral valve replacement acquisitions to treat just 80 patients, half of whom are now dead, Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) chief medical officer Dr. Keith Dawkins said today.
“There’s been, really [since] a few months ago, $1.5 billion, roughly, spent on about 80 patients, 40 of whom are dead,” Dawkins said at the annual J.P. Morgan healthcare conference in San Francisco.
The run on TMVR companies began last July, when Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) agreed to pay $400 million for CardiAQ Valve Technologies. Abbott (NYSE:ABT) followed suit later that month, dropping $225 million on top of the stake it already owned in Tendyne Holdings and announcing an unspecified strategic investment in Cephea Valve Technologies. In August Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) agreed to pony up as much as $458 million for Foundry spinout Twelve Inc. A week later, HeartWare International (NSDQ:HTWR) surprised observers with a bid for Israel’s Valtech Cardio. Edwards closed it out (for now) with the December announcement of its deal for a stake with an exclusive option to buy in Harpoon Medical and its mitral repair technology.
At Boston Scientific, which last October added to its stake in mitral valve repair developer MValve, the belief is that addressing mitral valve disease requires a portfolio of approaches, Dawkins said.
“We think the opportunity is large, but we think the challenges will also be large. It won’t be so clean a disease as treating aortic stenosis because many of these patients live quite a long time. They just don’t die suddenly like [with] aortic stenosis,” he said.
CEO Mike Mahoney, also speaking at the JP Morgan event, said that the Marlborough, Mass.-based company plans to spend the money that would have gone to the medical device tax on growing its pipeline.
“We anticipate investing a significant portion of [those] dollars back into the business, whether it be through innovation in R&D in structural heart, venture investments, collaboration with universities, really just to continue to invest and grow our pipeline,” Mahoney said, according to FierceMedicalDevices.
Boston Scientific shares were up 3.7% to $18.19 each today in mid-afternoon activity.