NUI Galway medical firm sold for €55m in US deal
Galway medical device firm Apica Cardiovascular has been acquired for $75m (€55m) by the US-based Thoratec group.
Apica was established in 2011 by US native Jim Greene in NUI Galway's incubation centre. It raised €3.75m from Irish venture capital outfit Seroba Ventures, Enterprise Ireland and Triventures, an Israeli specialist medical devices investor.
Apica's Access, Stabilisation, and Closure (ASC) system allows for the delivery of aortic and mitral valves through the chest wall to the heart. It's used by surgeons treating patients with heart disease and enables practitioners to minimise blood loss, deliver safer heart woperations and reduce procedure time and technical challenges.
It was initially developed as a result of collaboration between Apica and a team and Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology - both in Atlanta.
Emory University is also a shareholder in Apica, as is Ajit Yoganathan, the director of Georgia Tech's Cardiovascular Fluid Mechanics Research Group. Other shareholders in Apica include Mr Greene and the firm's chief scientific officer, Jorge Jimenez.
Apica has also developed a surgical implant system for ventricular assist devices (VADs). They're mechanical pumps used to support heart function and blood flow in people with weakened hearts.
California-based Thoratec said it's paying an initial $35m (€25.6m) for Apica. Additional milestone payments totalling a maximum of $40m will be payable in the future depending on Apica hitting a specified number of sales and successfully achieving certain clinical regulatory events in Europe and the United States.
Thoratec president and chief executive officer Gary Burbach said the acquisition of Apica is an "exciting transaction".
"Once developed, we expect Apica's unique technology benefits will enable both expansion of the overall VAD market as well as increased penetration for Thoratec devices," he added.
The Apica acquisition will increase Thoratec's operating expenses by $3m this year and by between $6m- $7m in 2015.