Earlier this week, the FTC announced that Medtronic would have to divest an Intersect subsidiary—selling surgical navigation company Fiagon to the biotech firm Homeostatis—to get approval for the acquisition. Intersect, which is based in Menlo Park, California, is focused on advancing ear, nose and throat treatment. But the FTC expressed concerns that Medtronic’s acquisition of the company could mean less innovation and costlier care.
Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s bureau of competition, said in a statement that Medtronic is the top provider of ENT navigation systems.
“We are requiring Medtronic to divest Fiagon because we are concerned that the deal would otherwise lead to higher prices and reduced innovation in this important medical care market,” she said.
The FTC required Medtronic to offload Fiagon no later than 10 days after it acquired Intersect.
Medtronic also develops and markets balloon sinus dilation products, which are used by physicians to clear blocked sinuses. As such, the FTC said Medtronic and Intersect would need get prior approval from the agency for 10 years before purchasing ENT navigation systems and balloon sinus dilation assets “to address any future attempts to consolidate these important markets.”
After agreeing to the agency’s terms, Medtronic got the OK to move ahead, following more than a decade of buildup to the deal.
Medtronic first invested in Intersect in 2010. It has had a close relationship with Intersect since, and investors had long speculated Medtronic might buy the company. Finally, last August, Medtronic announced it was moving forward with the acquisition, which it completed Friday.
One thing that made Intersect a particularly attractive target to the device maker is its steroid-coated stents, according to Medtronic. The sinus implants are used to treat chronic rhinosinusitis, a common chronic condition where spaces inside the nose and sinuses become inflamed, causing symptoms ranging from a lingering cold to headache.
Intersect’s Propel sinus implants are used in conjunction with sinus surgery, while its Sinuva implants are a nonsurgical treatment for nasal polyps, noncancerous growths lining the nose and sinuses. Intersect was the first company to get FDA clearance for these types of devices.
Medtronic said the acquisition will broaden its device offerings and improve care for patients with conditions like chronic sinusitis, or CRS.
“By combining Intersect ENT’s groundbreaking localized drug delivery products with the leading navigation and powered instruments of Medtronic, we can now equip physicians with the right tools for many unique patient needs,” said Vince Racano, president of Medtronic’s ENT business, in a statement. “This acquisition expands our portfolio, and we can now provide a more comprehensive continuum of care for CRS patients while supporting the bold ambition of Medtronic to be the global healthcare technology leader.”
After the completion of the acquisition was announced, the device maker saw its stock price rise by more than $1.60 to over $102 per share in trading Friday morning on the New York Stock Exchange.
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