Boston Scientific to buy Asthmatx for $193.5 million

Boston Scientific Corporation yesterday unveiled plans to buy Asthmatx Inc, a maker of less invasive treatment for severe asthma, for at least $193.5 million, as the US medical devices maker realigns its portfolio to focus on faster-growth medical technologies.

Asthmatx, a privately-held company based in Sunnyvale, California, designs, manufactures and markets a less-invasive, catheter-based bronchial thermoplasty procedure for the treatment of severe persistent asthma in the 6 to 8 million patients above 18 years whose asthma is not controlled well with inhaled medications.

Asthmatx markets the US Food and Drug Administration approved Alair Bronchial Thermoplasty System, which is said to be a less-invasive procedure that is routinely performed under conscious sedation with patients typically returning home the same day.

Boston Scientific said that Bronchial thermoplasty devise was named one of the "Top Ten Medical Innovations for 2007" by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.

Under the deal, Massachusetts-based Boston Scientific will make an upfront payment of $193.5 million and additional payments of up to $250 million contingent upon achievement of specified revenue-based criteria through 2019.

"The acquisition of Asthmatx represents an important step in the execution of our strategy to realign Boston Scientific's portfolio," said Ray Elliott, president and CEO of Boston Scientific.

"Given the large underserved patient population and this innovative technology, we expect this transaction to provide meaningful revenue growth in the midterm. We will continue to pursue additional Priority Growth Initiatives to strengthen our company by buying or building products we understand, to be sold through sales forces we already have," he added.

Asthma is one of the most common and costly diseases in the world with no known cure. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 20 million Americans have asthma. Managing asthma consumes more than $18 billion of health care resources each year in the US.