Medtronic to buy blood pressure device developer for $800M

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Medtronic has entered a merger agreement to acquire the privately held Ardian for an up-front cash payment of $800 million, plus commercial milestones equal to the annual revenue growth through the end of Medtronic’s fiscal year 2015. Ardian develops catheter-based therapies to treat hypertension and related conditions.

Ardian should bring the Symplicity catheter system to Medtronic, which has been tested for patients whose hypertension remains uncontrolled despite optimal medical management, according to Medtronic. Data on Symplicity was recently released at the American Heart Association 2010 Scientific Sessions in Chicago and published in the Lancet, indicating that patients treated with the Ardian device experienced a 33 mmHg greater reduction in systolic blood pressure at six months than the control group. The Symplicity catheter system has received CE mark and Australia TGA listing, but is not approved for sale in the U.S.

“Ardian’s investigational catheter-based treatment for uncontrolled hypertension through renal nerve denervation complements Medtronic’s […] catheter design and ablation technologies,” said Sean Salmon, vice president and general manager of the coronary and peripheral business at Medtronic.

The Minneapolis-based Medtronic had previously invested in the Mountain View, Calif.-based Ardian and currently holds an 11 percent ownership stake in the company. The transaction is expected to close in Medtronic’s third fiscal quarter of 2011, and is subject to customary closing conditions, including U.S. and foreign regulatory clearances.