Atricure’s bizdev decision fails to Amaze

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At least Atricure had the sense to backend its acquisition of Sentreheart. The $40m it paid two years ago will probably be all it forks out – the $140m contingent on the clinical success and approval of Sentreheart’s Lariat device, and the further $120m on reimbursement, are probably not going to be necessary. Atricure said yesterday on its second-quarter call that the Amaze trial of Lariat, assessing the device as a means to close a left atrial appendage, had failed. Amaze’s primary safety goal, 10% freedom from major adverse events, was hit, but the primary efficacy endpoint, freedom from episodes of atrial fibrillation lasting at least 30 seconds, was not. Lariat had been intended to compete with Boston Scientific’s Watchman device, sales of which are forecast to hit $1.4bn in 2026, according to sellside consensus from Evaluate Medtech. Atricure’s investors seemed to take the disappointment well, with the company’s share price declining less than 2%. Analysts, some of whom had once talked up the Amaze readout as a major catalyst for Atricure, were in similarly forgiving mood, with Stifel admitting that the “absence of another incremental growth opportunity” was disappointing, but insisting that it was not a growth headwind.

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