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Abbott Acquires Topera for $250M, Gains Entré to Global AFib Market

Xconomy San Diego — 

Abbott, the healthcare giant based near Chicago, IL, has acquired Topera, a venture-backed startup founded on diagnostic technology developed by a San Diego cardiologist to pinpoint the electrical impulses that drive abnormal heartbeats.

In a statement yesterday, Abbott said it would acquire all outstanding equity of Topera for $250 million upfront, with potential future payments tied to performance milestones.

In early January, the FDA cleared Topera’s 3D mapping system for diagnosing and treating atrial fibrillation, a common heart arrhythmia. The company has developed an innovative diagnostic catheter and mapping software that helps doctors identify the specific area of a person’s heart where abnormal electrical impulses perpetuate the irregular heart flutter.

Once pinpointed, doctors use a minimally invasive procedure known as cardiac catheter ablation to precisely freeze or cauterize the heart tissue responsible for the abnormal electrical activity.

Abbott said the Topera buyout would enable it to enter the global market for catheter-based electrophysiology, estimated at $3 billion and growing annually at double-digit rates.

Topera, based in Menlo Park, CA, raised $25 million last year in a Series C round led by New Enterprise Associates that included funding from an unnamed strategic industry partner. Topera has raised at least $31 million in total funding since it was founded near Boston in 2008.

Sanjiv Narayan, a UC San Diego researcher and cardiologist specializing in electrophysiology who practices at the San Diego VA Medical Center, developed the prototype diagnostic mapping technology with the help of Ruchir Sehra, a colleague who is now Topera’s chief medical officer.