By Mary Vanac
St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE:STJ) agreed to pay $90 million in cash for Westford, Mass.-based LightLab Imaging Inc.
The acquisition of LightLab, a manufacturer and marketer of optical coherence tomography, would enable St. Jude Medical to enter the $500 million coronary imaging market, according to the companies’ joint press release. The deal also could enable the Little Canada, Minn.-based medical device maker to significantly expand that market with OCT.
LightLab won 510(k) clearance May 3 from the Food & Drug Administration for its OCT-based C7-XR imaging system and companion C7 Dragonfly imaging catheter. The devices create a 50-millimeter coronary scan in under three seconds without vessel occlusion, according to a press release, and provide resolution at 15 micrometers, roughly twice the size of a red blood cell. The devices have also been approved for use in 35 other countries.
OCT uses uses near-infrared light to produce high-resolution, real-time images that are higher quality than images produced by competing ultrasound technology. LightLab said the resolution of its images are 10 times greater than those produced by intravascular ultrasound — and they are made 20 times faster.
St. Jude said it expects the OCT platform to boost the top line of its medical cardiovascular division by $20 million during the second half of the year. The OCT market itself is expected to grow at a double-digit, compounded annual rate over the next five years, according to the company.
STJ already has fractional flow reserve technology to measure the effects of coronary procedures. It claimed it would be the first to offer both OCT and FFR technologies to enable clinicians to both see and measure vessel characteristics that are invisible or difficult to observe with older imaging technologies.