por Lynn Shapiro
, Writer | February 17, 2009
Thoratec Corporation, a maker of mechanical circulatory therapies to support failing hearts, and HeartWare International, a manufacturer of miniaturized implantable heart pumps, have entered into a merger agreement under which Thoratec will acquire HeartWare for $282 million.
About 50% will be paid in cash and the remainder will be paid in Thoratec common stock at $26.25 per share, the company's current value on the Nasdaq stock exchange. In addition, Thoratec will provide HeartWare with a convertible loan of up to $28 million to fund ongoing operations until the closing of the transaction, which is currently expected to occur in the second half of 2009. The boards of directors of both companies have approved the transaction, although HeartWare shareholders have yet to send in their votes. No opposition to the merger is expected.
Commenting on the merger, Gary F. Burbach, president and chief executive of Thoratec, said "the use of mechanical circulatory support for the treatment of heart failure is gaining increasing adoption as a result of the positive patient outcomes and clinician enthusiasm realized with the HeartMate II. We believe that combining the strengths of the two companies will enable us to build upon each of our strong technology and product platforms, giving more and better options for a large population of heart failure patients."
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Thoratec's Heartmate II is expected to become a blockbuster product once it is approved for end-stage heart failure. It was approved for bridge-to-transplant therapy last year. In fact, its FDA interim data on end-stage heart patients looked so good, that randomized trials in which some patients used the Heartmate II and others, Thoratec's older heart pump, were stopped and everyone in the trial was given the Heartmate II.
HeartWare's HVAD, part of the HeartWare Ventricular Assist System, is a full-output pump designed to be implanted next to the heart. (See related story: Thoratec's HeartMate II -- a Promising Technology; DM 8142. Enter the story code into any DOTmed.com search box.)
Source: Thoratec Corporation.