St. Jude termina la compra de LightLab

por Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | July 07, 2010
St. Jude bets
on OCT.
St. Jude Medical Inc. completed its $90 million all-cash purchase of optical coherence tomography-maker LightLab Imaging, the St.Paul, Minn.-based company announced Tuesday evening.

The buyout of LightLab from its parent company Goodman Co., Ltd., first announced in May, reflects St. Jude's confidence in a new invasive cardio imaging modality, OCT. This technique involves inserting a catheter into a blood vessel; the catheter beams near-infrared light into the tissue. The device then analyzes the light that bounces back to create an image 10 times sharper than that from intravascular ultrasound, according to Westford, Mass.-based LightLab.

In May, LightLab received U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance for the C7-XR Imaging System with the C7 Dragonfly Imaging Catheter, the first OCT products to be cleared by the agency.
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The intravascular ultrasound market is thought to be $500 million, and expected to grow 10 to 15 percent annually, according to St. Jude. The device company expects OCT to gradually eat into intravascular ultrasound's marketshare.

St. Jude also expects the product to complement its fractional flow reserve technology, also used to help diagnose cardiovascular disease.

"We are pleased to have completed this transaction, and we welcome LightLab employees to St. Jude Medical," St. Jude CEO, Chairman and President Daniel J. Starks said in a statement. "The OCT technology is the ideal complement to our FFR technology and provides us with a comprehensive platform that will help us to grow our cardiovascular business."

LightLab will now become enfolded in the St. Jude Medical Cardiovascular Division, St. Jude said.

In May, when the purchase was first announced, health care investment bank Leerink Swann said the purchase brings St. Jude "into a new large, rapidly-growing market with promising new technology," but cautioned that "broad-based clinical uses" for the technology "have yet to be clearly established."

St. Jude dipped a slight 0.3 percent in early trading Wednesday to reach $35.48 a share.