Global medical device company Boston Scientific has announced on January 24, 2018, an agreement to make a $90 million investment in privately-held medical device company Millipede, Inc. Millipede has developed a non-invasive solution for repair of the heart’s mitral valve. According to the press release, the agreement includes an option for Boston Scientific to acquire all remaining shares of Millipede, upon completion of a clinical study, for an additional $325 million in cash, with an extra $125 million in payments upon completing a commercial milestone.

According to Millipede’s website, Millipede’s IRIS Transcatheter Annuloplasty Ring System reshapes the mitral valve annulus of the heart to treat severe mitral regurgitation (MR). MR is caused by a leaking mitral valve, which causes blood to flow backward from the left ventricle into the left atrium. Over time, MR can lead to or accelerate heart failure and rhythm problems. Millipede’s website describes the IRIS system as providing the gold standard in surgical heart valve repair – a complete annuloplasty ring implant. The implant reshapes and reduces the mitral valve annulus opening, enabling return of leaflet coaptation and reduction of MR.

According to Millipede, the implant is delivered via catheter, for example through a small cut in the patient’s leg. This allows patients to avoid invasive open heart surgery, which is necessary for implantation of conventional annuloplasty rings. Millipede describes the transcatheter ring as repositionable and retrievable.

“We saw an opportunity to bring the gold-standard surgical approach to repairing the mitral valve to an underserved population of severe MR patients with transcatheter techniques, and are excited Boston Scientific also sees the unique abilities of the IRIS transcatheter ring” – Joe Cunningham, MD, Chairman of the Board, Millipede, Inc. and Managing Director of Santé Ventures.

Millipede is based in Santa Rosa, California and was founded in 2012 by majority investor Santé Ventures and Steve Bolling, MD, and has been led by CEO Randy Lashinski since 2014.

Boston Scientific describes itself as a worldwide developer, manufacturer and marketer of medical devices, providing a broad range of high performance solutions that address patient needs and aim to reduce the cost of healthcare..