Medtronic strengthens peripheral pipeline with Invatec buy


Medtronic’s acquisition of Invatec will enable the company to arm its peripheral vascular product range and obtain four drug-eluting balloons, currently being hailed as one of the most promising interventional devices. Analysts say that Invatec’s non-coronary vascular offerings, which constitute over half of its portfolio, are most significant to Medtronic because the cardiac giant barely competes in the peripheral vascular products space.

Under a agreement made earlier in the year, Medtronic will pay $350 million up front for the Italian firm, plus up to $150 million in milestone payments.


Invatec is a European interventional vascular device company with 35 product lines, including stents, balloons, guidewires and embolic protection filters for coronary and peripheral vascular disease. It is the only firm with four drug-eluting balloons, both cardiovascular and peripheral, and  is a pioneer in the development and commercialisation of lesion-specific solutions, including therapies for below-the-knee and carotid artery disease.


Medtronic will also acquire two affiliated companies, Fogazzi, which provides polymer technology to Invatec, and Krauth Cardiovascular, which distributes Invatec products in Germany.


Analysts say that Boston Scientific controls more than 50% of the worldwide peripheral angioplasty market and about 60% of the American peripheral guidewire market. Other important competitors in the space include ev3, Cook Medical and Bard. In addition, large firms like Abbott and Johnson & Johnson are pursuing clinical development in the peripheral arena.


Invatec offers very few devices in the USA – most are peripheral vascular balloon catheters or guidewires. Other offerings in The States include the Mo.Ma embolic protection device used during carotid artery stenting procedures and a coronary aspiration catheter for clot extraction. Invatec also distributes

Lumen Biomedical’s FiberNet embolic protection device in the USA.


Armed with the power Medtronic’s resources, Invatec could introduce its four European  market drug-eluting balloon catheters in the American market. Invatec has three for peripheral indications (Impact Admiral, Impact Amphirion and Impact Pacific) and one for coronary indications (Impact Falcon).


Current research on drug-eluting balloons highlights that they are an alternative to drug-eluting stents, and balloons have been shown to bring down restenosis rates in complex critical limb ischaemia cases.