Local Med-Tech Start-up Lutonix Sold for $225M

Maple Grove-based Lutonix-which developed a drug-coated balloon to treat narrowed arteries-has been sold to New Jersey-based C.R. Bard.

Murray Hill, New Jersey-based C.R. Bard, Inc., said Tuesday that it has acquired Maple Grove-based med-tech start-up Lutonix, Inc. for $225 million.

Lutonix developed a drug-coated balloon that can be inserted into a patient's clogged artery. While similar angioplasty balloons exist in the market, Lutonix's device-called Moxy-is unique because it is coated with a drug that is delivered to the artery to keep it from clogging later, according to Lutonix's Web site.

The device received approval this year to be sold in Europe, and C.R. Bard said it expects to start selling the device there in the second half of 2012. The device is still in the trial stage in the United States. According to C.R. Bard, no such device has ever been approved for use in the country.

C.R. Bard said it will pay Lutonix another $100 million once the drug-coated balloons receive regulatory approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Lutonix expects to seek FDA approval for Moxy in 2014 after it completes a clinical trial.

Drug-coated balloons have received more attention in recent years as physicians look for effective ways to treat diseased arteries without having to leave a permanent implant behind, according to C.R. Bard. The value of the drug-coated balloon market could reach $1 billion in the next decade, the company said.

Lutonix was founded in 2007 and has since been backed by venture capital firms. The company's board of directors includes Michael Berman, who was inducted into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame by Twin Cities Business in 2010.