Abbott has entered into an agreement to purchase Topera, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based, private, venture-backed medical device company focused on developing innovative electrophysiology technologies to improve the diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation, one of the most common heart rhythm disorders in the world. Through this acquisition, Abbott enters the catheter-based electrophysiology market, an approximately $3 billion global market that has been growing annually at double-digit rates.
Topera has developed a novel diagnostic catheter and mapping software, or rotor identification system, which help physicians identify and target the specific areas of a person's heart that are perpetuating atrial fibrillation. Abbott will acquire all outstanding equity of Topera for $250 million upfront, plus potential future payments tied to performance milestones.
Topera's rotor identification system has been shown, when used with existing catheter ablation therapy, to result in positive long-term success rates, even in difficult-to-treat cases. According to an independent, multi-center, physician-sponsored study, using Topera's system with catheter ablation resulted in a single-procedure success rate of 87.5% in patients undergoing a first ablation procedure, and an 80.5% success rate for all patients after a one-year follow-up. This compares to only a 50% to 60% success rate for patients treated with existing catheter ablation therapy alone.
During ablation procedures, a catheter is placed in a specific area of the heart where it uses energy to disrupt the abnormal electrical activity linked to atrial fibrillation. In addition to improving long-term outcomes with fewer procedures, using Topera's rotor mapping system may result in shorter ablation times for some procedures because it identifies and targets the specific areas in an individual patient's heart that are perpetuating the irregular heartbeats.
In a separate transaction, Abbott has secured the right to purchase Advanced Cardiac Therapeutics. (ACT) in the future, upon completion of key milestones. ACT, a private, venture-backed company, is developing a novel ablation catheter designed to improve the safety and effectiveness of ablation procedures. Financial terms have not been disclosed.
"There is significant room to use advanced rotor identification technologies to improve the success rate and reduce the need for multiple ablation procedures, and thus improve the health of people with atrial fibrillation," said John M. Capek, Ph.D., executive vice president, medical devices, Abbott. "The Topera acquisition and our agreement with ACT provide a foundational entry into the large, high-growth electrophysiology market, with differentiated technologies that can transform the way physicians treat people with complex heart rhythm disorders."
"Topera's mapping technology has the potential to change the paradigm for how physicians approach treating people with atrial fibrillation," said John Miller, M.D., professor of medicine and director of clinical cardiac electrophysiology at Indiana University Health. "The ability to more accurately target the areas of the heart perpetuating atrial fibrillation is a significant advancement in the field of electrophysiology, which may allow us to treat more people with atrial fibrillation and lead to better health results."
Abbott's electrophysiology business will be led by Michael Pederson, who joins Abbott from VytronUS, a privately held medical device company, where he was president and CEO.