St. Jude Pays $60M for 19% Stake in Med Device Co.

Little Canada-based St. Jude will have the exclusive option to pay an additional $375 million to acquire CardioMEMS later on.

St. Jude Medical, Inc., said Tuesday that it plans to pay $60 million for a 19 percent ownership stake in CardioMEMS, Inc., an Atlanta-based medical device company that has developed a wireless sensing and communication technology to assess cardiac performance.

St. Jude, based in Little Canada, has the exclusive option to acquire CardioMEMS for an additional $375 million later on.

Via a quick and simple implant procedure, CardioMEMS' wireless monitoring technology can be placed directly in the pulmonary artery to assess cardiac performance by measuring pulmonary artery pressure. A sensor transmits real-time data to the patient's clinic for review, thus eliminating the need for a cardiac catheterization to be performed in order to assess heart failure.

Results from a clinical trial, which were presented in May, found that the device reduces hospital readmissions for patients with heart failure.

“Technologies that help improve the management of heart failure can not only provide meaningful benefits for patients, but can also do so in a cost effective manner that is particularly important given recent health care reform in the U.S. and the attention to health care costs worldwide,” Eric S. Fain, president of St. Jude's cardiac rhythm management division, said in a statement. “Investing in CardioMEMS reaffirms our commitment to technology platforms that improve heart failure management and the potential benefits of hemodynamic monitoring for both patients and the health care economic system.”

St. Jude-which designs, manufactures, and distributes cardiovascular devices-said that the CardioMEMS deal does not change its 2010 earnings outlook. St. Jude is among Minnesota's 20-largest public companies based on 2008 revenue, which totaled $4.36 billion. The company reported $4.7 billion in 2009 revenue.