- Heart valve leader Edwards Lifesciences has agreed to acquire CAS Medical Systems, maker of non-invasive technology for monitoring tissue oxygen levels in the brain.
- Edwards is paying about $100 million, or $2.45 a share, in cash for the Branford, Connecticut-based company.
- The combination of CAS' cerebral oximetry capability with Edwards' hemodynamic monitoring platform is expected to strengthen Edwards' position in smart monitoring technologies, giving physicians a more comprehensive measuring tool for tracking the status of their surgical and critically ill patients, the companies said.
In the shadow of Edwards' market-leading line of heart valve replacement devices is its smaller business dedicated to critical care and surgical monitoring. At $178 million in sales for the fourth quarter, up a solid 10% on an underlying basis, the critical care segment is less than a third of the size of the company's transcatheter heart valve business, with sales of $592 million.
While ongoing advances in transcatheter heart valve replacement get most of the attention, the patient monitoring business is also seeing innovation with technology designed to make the process less invasive and more data-enabled and connected. Driving development of new monitoring technologies is a shift toward increasing care outside of the hospital, which requires the ability to follow patients' progress remotely.
Edwards is now focused on sales of its next-generation HemoSphere monitoring platform that is replacing an older system and is designed to incorporate artificial intelligence capabilities. The company received FDA clearance in the fourth quarter for its Acumen software for use on HemoSphere that introduces AI to hemodynamic monitoring through a data-driven algorithm that can indicate the likelihood of low blood pressure, the company has said.
Edwards and CAS have a head start on combining their technologies, with collaborative work underway prior to the acquisition. Edwards is currently seeking FDA 510(k) clearance for a cable and software module that connects CAS' Fore-Sight sensor with Edwards' HemoSphere hemodynamic monitoring platform. The two companies already have a CE mark for the module in Europe for it.
The acquisition of CAS is expected to close in the second quarter, subject to shareholder and anti-trust approvals.