Abbott goes peripheral for $890m

Cardiovascular Systems, bought by Abbott for $890m yesterday, is a specialist in catheter-mounted devices for atherectomy, a procedure whereby plaque is removed from arteries to restore blood flow, often as a prelude to stenting. Unlike the other major players in atherectomy – including Abbott itself – Cardiovascular Systems’ portfolio is split almost evenly between products to treat coronary arteries and those to treat peripheral vessels, though in terms of sales the peripheral products punch above their weight, accounting for around two thirds of the group’s US revenues last year. By adding this portfolio to its product offering Abbott might be better able to compete with its rivals Boston Scientific and Medtronic, which have sizable peripheral vascular businesses. It should also be able to extend Cardiovascular Systems’ business internationally – the smaller group currently gets 93% of its revenue from the US. It should be noted, though, that Cardiovascular Systems is not profitable. The deal comes soon after last month’s FDA knockback of Surmodics’ Surveil drug-coated balloon, also intended to clear peripheral arteries and to which Abbott has US commercialisation rights.

The top 5 atherectomy players by US approvals
Company No of approved atherectomy devices % coronary % peripheral
Boston Scientific 317 91% 9%
Cardiovascular Systems 58 59% 41%
Abbott Laboratories 34 97% 3%
Medtronic 22 0% 100%
Philips 19 0% 100%
Note: all approval/clearance paths. Source: Evaluate Medtech, FDA. 

Cardiovascular Systems’ Diamondback 360 coronary orbital atherectomy system

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