US-based Medtronic and China-based LiFeTech Scientific have expanded their strategic alliance to manufacture pacemakers based on Medtronic technology for the Chinese market.
As part of the deal, Lifetech will develop a portfolio of pacemaker and cardiac lead products and establish pacemaker-manufacturing capabilities at its facility in Shenzhen, China, while Medtronic will be responsible for providing certain technology, training and support.
Medtronic will also have the opportunity to partner with Lifetech on commercialisation of the latter’s portfolio of pacemakers and leads, once approved and meets regulatory requirements.
Lifetech chairman Xie Yuehui said: "In the absence of a local viable solution to treat the many patients in need of this therapy, this new agreement provides an unprecedented opportunity to serve the local market with locally produced products, while leveraging the quality and expertise of the global leader in medical devices, and simultaneously boosting China’s medtech capabilities."
The rate of heart arrhythmias is similar in both China and US, however in the US, the pacemaker implant rate is 1,000 per one million people, but in China, it is just about 31 out of one million people, the company said.
Medtronic chairman and chief executive officer Omar Ishrak said: "We are delighted to partner with Lifetech in this new venture to bring lifesaving technology to Chinese patients.
"We expect these pacemakers to serve the local market and to meet the healthcare needs of significantly more Chinese patients."
The two firms have originally entered into partnership in 2012 to advance patient care in China by bringing together the resources and technologies of Medtronic with the local market expertise, brand recognition and growth potential of Lifetech, to reach patients and clinicians who previously have been unreachable by either company alone.
As part of the 2012 deal, Medtronic bought 19% equity interest in Lifetech, and received the right of first negotiation to distribute current and future Lifetech products as well as the opportunity to acquire additional ownership in Lifetech.
Image: Medtronic world headquarters in Minneapolis, US. Photo: courtesy of Medtronic, Inc.