Abbott has exercised an option to acquire medical device firm Cephea Valve Technologies for an undisclosed amount. The option was obtained when Abbott invested in Cephea Valve in 2015.

Cephea Valve is primarily focussed on the development of a less-invasive heart valve replacement technology to help treat patients suffering from mitral valve disease.

The new device is being designed for patients who require replacement of diseased mitral valves in order to restore normal blood flow. It can be delivered through a vein in the leg, thereby eliminating the need for open-heart surgery.

The mitral valve is located between the left atrium and left ventricle. Mitral valve disease occurs when the mitral valve stops working properly and results in the leakage of blood back into the left atrium. The valve can also be narrowed by stenosis, a narrowing of the valve opening.

“Cephea Valve is primarily focussed on the development of a less-invasive heart valve replacement technology to help treat patients suffering from mitral valve disease.”

Abbott expects the mitral valve replacement device to complement its catheter-based technologies.

Abbott structural heart business vice-president Michael Dale said: “The acquisition of Cephea builds on Abbott’s strong position in structural heart therapies and is consistent with our strategy to develop comprehensive treatments for people with mitral valve disease.

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“Cephea’s novel approach to replace the mitral valve adds to our other catheter-based technologies and is being developed to provide an additional option for patients who suffer from this difficult-to-treat disease.”

Abbott forayed into minimally invasive mitral valve disease solutions market in 2009 with the purchase of Evalve and its MitraClip technology intended to repair leaky heart valves.

MitraClip was commercially launched in Europe and the US in 2008 and 2013, respectively.

Abbott went on to buy another mitral valve device maker Tendyne in 2015. Tendyne was developing minimally invasive devices to fully replace the mitral valve.

The company further expanded its structural heart disease portfolio in 2017 by acquiring cardiac devices developer St Jude Medical.

Additional reporting by Charlotte Edwards