Thoratec Corp. (NSDQ:THOR) said it will buy the medical business of Levitronix, LLC in a deal potentially worth $150 million.
The Waltham, Mass.-based Levitronix makes magnetically levitated bearing-free motors for blood pumps and ultra-pure fluid handling.
The deal calls for the Pleasanton, Calif.-based Thoratec to fork over an up front cash payment of $110 million, with an additional $40 million in potential earnouts, according to regulatory documents filed with the federal securities and exchange commission. The deal doesn’t include Levitronix’s fluid handling business, which will continue to sell pumps and flowmeters under the Levitronix name.
“This transaction solidifies Thoratec’s position as the leading, full-line provider of mechanical circulatory support products for both acute and chronic needs, advancing the company’s mission of delivering superior therapies to a broad population of heart failure patients,” officials said in a prepared release.
The two companies are quite familiar with each other as Levitronix makes several products used by Thoratec. Levitronix makes the blood pump used in Thoratec’s HeartMate II and HeartMate III ventricular assist devices.
In 2010, Levitronix CEO Kurt Dasse told MassDevice that he co-founded the company in 2001 with legendary entrepreneur George Hatsopoulos, founder and former CEO of Thermo Electron Corp., which is now Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. (NYSE:TMO).
He described to us the theory behind the company:
“Your heart is beating about 40 million times a year, and therefore this blood pump would have to either flex or cycle these components 40 million times a year without having any access to lubrication or being able to salvage those components,” he told us. “At some point they’re going to fail, so our goal was to design a pump that would have none of these failure components; no valves, no diaphragms, no bearings, no shafts, no seals, nothing that would wear out. That’s precisely the technology that we ultimately developed, a bearingless motor where the rotating component of the pump is magnetically levitated.”
Thoratec president & CEO Gary Burbach said the deal provides the company with “full global rights to CentriMag, the cornerstone of our acute surgical product offering, and it broadens our offering to include pediatric mechanical circulatory support through the PediMag/PediVAS product line,” he said in a prepared release.”Additionally, this transaction brings in-house significant intellectual property and expertise in full magnetic levitation, one of the core technological elements of HeartMate III as well as other potential product development opportunities in circulatory and respiratory assist.”